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If you are a coal miner suffering from occupational pneumoconiosis (black lung - the dust) our pneumoconiosis solicitors can help you to claim compensation. Our lawyers are members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts and your claim will be dealt with on a risk free no win no fee* basis.

Call our pneumoconiosis solicitors today for expert advice on silicosis and pneumoconiosis compensation claims. If your employer failed in their duty to provide you with a safe working environment they may be liable to pay you damages for occupational lung disease. Pneumoconiosis also known as 'miner's lung', 'black lung' and 'the dust' are all different names for a condition in which the inhalation of coal dust causes the formation of nodules in the lungs. Fibres in certain substances which are inhaled act to irritate the lungs with adverse effects and nodular formation as a consequence. The substances in question include coal dust, asbestos fibres, silica, talc and particles derived from metals. Pneumoconiosis is an umbrella term for a range of more specific conditions. Silicosis is one of the most prominent variants, a type in which the inhalation of silica inflames and irritates the lungs, resulting in nodular formation in the upper lobes.

Coal Dust

Coal workers pneumoconiosis which is also known as 'black lung' or 'the dust' refers to a lung disease caused by the inhalation and retention in the lungs of coal dust. There is a long delay always exceeding 10 years between exposure to coal dust and the onset of the disease and most new cases or deaths from coal workers pneumoconiosis reflect working conditions of the past. Coal miners' pneumoconiosis is caused by the inhalation of coal dust particles that are approximately 2-5 micrometres in diameter and are retained in the small airways and alveoli of the lung. The passage of time allows continual abrasion and irritation by the coal particles causing normal lung tissue to be replaced by fibrous scar tissue thereby reducing the lungs ability to exchange gases and absorb oxygen.

Characteristics & Side Effects

Pneumoconiosis has very unpleasant characteristics and side effects. Particles in the lungs collect causing fibrous nodes to form, eventually spreading across the lungs so that elastic lung tissue is replaced by fibrous tissue. The sufferer becomes easily short of breath, begins wheezing and coughing and may have difficulty in producing sputum. In particularly severe cases, other conditions may develop including the heart ailment 'cor pulmonale' and there is increased susceptibility to tuberculosis.

Vulnerable Occupations

Vulnerable workers include anyone who works with the substances that activate the disease. Those working in mines, sand pits and metal working factories are particularly liable to suffer from the disease due to the increased risk that they will inhale iron oxides, silicates or carbonates. If you are diagnosed with pneumoconiosis, including silicosis, then you have a legal right to compensation if your employer has not sufficiently assessed the risks involved in your work and installed appropriate mechanisms to minimise them. Ask yourself: when were safety checks last carried out? Have you been given adequate equipment and training to protect yourself from the dangerous substances that occur in your occupation? What else might have your employer done? Have other workers suffered from a similar problem?

Employers Negligence

Recent studies indicate that one in 20 of those exposed to coal dust has X-ray evidence of pneumoconiosis which is not reversible. UK laws require that industrial dust levels be controlled to reduce the risk of pneumoconiosis. An employer who has failed to comply with safety regulations will be held liable in negligence and must pay damages for any injury.

Pneumoconiosis Solicitors

Our pneumoconiosis solicitors operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. If you would like free advice on coal miners' pneumoconiosis compensation claims just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and a pneumoconiosis solicitor will discuss your claim on the telephone with no further obligation.



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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here