The coal industry made wild claims about its inability to comply with a proposed MSHA regulation to protect miners from developing black lung disease. Two years after the rules took affect, we see the magnitude of the industry's exaggeration.
Mining is one of the most dangerous jobs in America, with more than 600 workers dying in fatal workplace incidents between 2004 and the beginning of July. And many more miners die long after they’ve left the mines from occupational illnesses such as black lung disease, while others live with the debilitating aftermath of workplace injuries. Today, researchers know a great deal about the health risks miners face on the job, but some pretty big gaps remain.
Flip Wilson retired months ago after 40 years as a coal miner. Co-workers designated him as their safety representative. He drives 70 miles roundtrip to accompany mine inspectors and ensure the company is following the law.
Reveal investigates the toll of nuclear testing on the country's "atomic vets"; federal labor officials propose new mining safety rules; D.C. officials vote in support of a $15 minimum wage; and an Amazon employee writes a first-person account from inside one of the company's warehouses.
Sick uranium miners and their families continue to suffer, while Congress sits on expanding compensation; trade associations push back against a safety reporting rule for federal contractors; Maine residents to vote on raising the minimum wage; and a new app could make it much easier for workers to report safety violations.
President Obama released his 2017 federal budget proposal yesterday, recommending funding boosts for a number of public health priorities. And even though his presidency is coming to an end and so this budget is probably dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Congress, it’s worth a peek inside.
In a decision issued yesterday, the US Court of Appeals rejected the National Mining Association's legal challenge to a Labor Department regulation to better protect coal miners from developing black lung disease.
Some disabled coal miners have received lung transplants as a treatment for black lung disease. It's clearly a work-related illness, but workers' compensation insurance doesn't seem to be paying the bill for the $1 million procedure.
Re-run from July 27, 2015:Dr. Donald Rasmussen, 87, spent more than 50 years in Appalachia treating coal miners with lung disease. He was at the forefront of efforts during the 1960’s to challenge the establishment’s views that exposure to coal mine dust damaged miners’ lungs.
The criminal trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is in its eighth week. Ken Ward, Jr. of the Charleston Gazette continues to provide updates from the courtroom, but far fewer now that most of the action is behind closed doors where the jury is deliberating.