Black Lung Solicitors - Coal Miner Pneumoconiosis Compensation
Our pneumoconiosis compensation solicitors are experts at handling industrial dust disease compensation claims. If you have been diagnosed with Black Lung (pneumoconiosis) or a related condition, then contact our lawyers for legal advice. No Win No Fee legal representation is also available.
Coal Miners Pneumoconiosis (CWP)- Black lung
Coal worker's pneumoconiosis (also known as 'Black Lung') is a disease caused by breathing in coal dust or graphite. The higher the carbon content of the coal, the greater the risk of pneumoconiosis. Coal miners have the most obvious risk of inhaling hazardous amounts of dust, depending on how effective the mine ventilation is and its method of suppression of dust.
The risk of contracting Black Lung is higher when working in underground mines compared with open cast mines. Miners who are exposed to residual dust from burned coal known as 'fly ash' are also at risk of developing CWP.
There are also other types of pneumoconioses that can develop as a result of exposure to asbestos, silica, and minerals such as talc, mica, kaolin, and metals such as beryllium, cobalt, chromium, and cadmium.
Black Lung Symptoms
Simple pneumoconiosis does not usually cause symptoms. However, if a person has a pre-existing airway disease such as bronchitis or emphysema, pneumoconiosis can cause the person to feel short of breath and to cough often. Smokers with coal workers' pneumoconiosis are more likely to have symptoms.
If simple pneumoconiosis does progress to cause fibrosis in the lungs, the person will start to feel symptoms such as breathlessness and a persistent cough. A more serious form of the disease is known as pulmonary massive fibrosis which causes large scars to develop in the lungs. This scarring can cause permanent damage to lung tissue and blood vessels.
Prevalence of progressive massive fibrosis after a working lifetime of exposure to coal dust in underground miners is estimated to be between 1.3 and 2.9 % in Australia.
Coal dust spreads throughout the lungs and shows up in x-rays as tiny spots. Diagnosis of pneumoconiosis is usually made after noting these characteristic spots on lung x-rays and CT scans. The patient history usually reveals that they have worked in a coal mine or otherwise been exposed to coal dust for at least 5 years. Latency between exposure and diagnosis is usually 10 or more years.
Treatment for both simple coal miners pneumoconiosis and complicated coal worker's pneumoconiosis is symptomatic. Use oxygen as hypoxaemia demands.
Prevention is crucial because there is no cure for coal workers' pneumoconiosis. The disorder can be prevented by adequately suppressing coal dust at the work site. Ventilation systems may help. Face masks that filter and purify the air may provide limited protection.
Doctors usually recommend that coal workers have chest x-rays every year, so that the disease can be detected as early as possible. If the disease is detected, the worker should be transferred to an area where coal dust levels are low to help prevent progressive massive fibrosis.
Pneumoconiosis Compensation Solicitors
If you work in an Australian mine, you should ensure that you receive regular medical check-ups by your doctor. If you have been diagnosed with a dust disease such as pneumoconiosis, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Pneumoconiosis can develop into a serious condition resulting in severe physical symptoms. In some cases, the worker requires ongoing medical treatment and is unable to continue with their job. Compensation may be available to pay for medical expenses and for loss of income.
Seek legal advice from a black lung solicitor as soon as you become aware that you have contracted a dust disease. Time limits apply in making compensation claims. Call our helpline, complete the contact form, or send an email to receive legal advice.AUSTRALIA LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 339 958