One hundred and five (105) current or former mine workers have been diagnosed in Queensland with Black Lung and the numbers are set to rise according to the mine dust diseases victims support group.
Victims Group advocate Jim Pearce said 105 current and retired Queensland coal industry workers have now been diagnosed with industrial lung disease. “We are aware that there at least 200 more workers going through the testing and diagnosis process,” Mr Pearce said.
To highlight the issues faced for sufferers of the debilitating disease, the Mine Dust Diseases Victims Group will hold a forum this evening in Rockhampton to discuss the effects of Black Lung and highlight the issues faced by black lung sufferers across the Queensland mining industry.
Forums will also be conducted over the next few nights in Mackay and Moranbah for current and former mine workers.
Jim Pearce said, “The forums are an opportunity for workers and families to learn about the recognition of Black Lung – how it impacts victims, how to navigate the assessment process, and importantly, the risk associated with seeking compensation.”
Mr Pearce said the Victims Group has come to better understand the financial and health hardship that victims of black lung are being burdened with.
“Workers at hundreds of coal and related coal dust-bearing workplaces risk of years of illness and possible death because of excessive exposure.
“We know that victims and families are paying a terrible price for the failure of mining companies to provide a safe workplace, and due to successive State Governments falling asleep at the wheel when it came to enforcement of regulations.
“The failure of medical professionals to properly diagnose only added to the pain and suffering.”
Mr Pearce said the Victims Group is demanding coal producers such as BHP pay one cent per tonne, per week, into a fund to assist workers to purchase best-practice technology and expertise.
“We are also lobbying for a mobile van for local testing and assessment of coal industry employees.”
The Black Lung Forums will start at 6.30pm.
Rockhampton: Monday 15th April, Rockhampton Leagues Club
Mackay: Tuesday 16th April, Shamrock Hotel Conference Room
Moranbah: Wednesday 17th April, Moranbah Community Workers Club
Read more of today’s news in the Mining Safety Journal
- QUEENSLAND’S HANDLING OF BLACK LUNG AN EPIC FAIL
- COAL MINE WORKER PROTESTS OVER BLACK LUNG
- BLACK LUNG DISEASE DETECTED IN OPEN CUT COAL MINE