OCCUPATIONAL RESPIRATORY DISEASE SURVEILLANCE
On this Page
- What is Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis?
- How can I know whether I have Black Lung?
- To whom does NIOSH send the medical report?
- How can I learn more about my transfer options?
- What if I have any symptoms or health concerns?
- How can I learn about Federal disability benefits or compensation?
Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP) Resource List
What is Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis?
Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis is a lung disease caused by inhaling coal mine dust. Although some miners never develop the disease, others may develop the early signs after less than 10 years of mining experience. According to recent studies by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), about one of every 20 miners participating in our program has X-ray evidence of some pneumoconiosis.
In its early stages, called simple pneumoconiosis, the disease may not prevent you from working or carrying on most normal activities. In some miners, the disease progresses from simple to complicated pneumoconiosis, a condition called progressive massive fibrosis.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the damage that the dust has already done to your lungs. However, preventing Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis is among the highest priorities in protecting the health of the coal miner. It is an effort that requires the commitment of you, the miner, as well as the coal mine operator.
How can I know whether I have Black Lung?
Pneumoconiosis may be detected on chest x-rays. The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, as amended by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, has created two x-ray programs.
The first program is for new coal miners and requires that when you begin working in underground coal mining, you must be offered a chest X-ray, either as part of a pre-placement physical examination or within six months after being hired. Three years later you must be offered a second chest X-ray. If this second examination reveals evidence of pneumoconiosis, you must be offered a third chest X-ray two years after the second.
The second program is for all miners working in an underground coal mine. You must be offered a chest X-ray approximately every five years during a six-month time period arranged by the coal mine and approved by NIOSH.
What else might the X-ray examination tell me?
In addition to providing an indication of whether or not you have pneumoconiosis, the X-ray examination may also reveal evidence of other medical disorders. Heart problems and certain other diseases such as tuberculosis and lung cancer may be detected through a chest X-ray.
To whom does NIOSH send the medical report?
No one will be notified of the results without your written permission.
How can I learn more about my transfer options?
If your chest X-ray indicates definite evidence of “BLACK LUNG,” you will receive a letter offering you a transfer option. The transfer option gives you the right to work at a job in the mine where the dust concentration is not more than 1.0 milligram per cubic meter of air. It is possible that the dust exposure on your current job already meets that level and you would not be entitled to a transfer.
If you exercise this transfer option, the coal company that you work for will be notified by MSHA. Before you exercise your transfer option, we recommend that you contact the MSHA District Office nearest you to discuss specifics and details about transfer options (see enclosed resource list).
What if I have any symptoms or health concerns?
If you have shortness of breath, cough or any other health concerns, we suggest you ask your doctor about them right away. Also, contact your doctor if the X-ray report mentions a health condition that requires medical follow-up, testing or treatment.
If you don’t have a regular doctor, you can find a doctor who knows about mining-related health problems at one of the U.S. Government-supported Black Lung Clinics. These clinics typically offer benefits counseling, treatment and testing, including chest X-rays, laboratory services, pulmonary function testing and education about respiratory diseases for miners and their families. Active, inactive and retired coal miners who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases are eligible for such services. Services vary from clinic to clinic, so check with your nearest Black Lung Clinic for specifics.
How can I learn about Federal disability benefits or compensation?
If you have been told by a physician that you have pneumoconiosis or other lung problems, you may have questions about whether you are eligible for any compensation from the Federal Government.
The Federal Black Lung Benefits Program is completely separate from the State Workers’ Compensation programs. Some miners may qualify for one program and not the other. The Federal program provides payments and medical treatment to coal miners who are totally disabled from pneumoconiosis (Black Lung) arising from their employment in or around the nation’s coal mines. In select cases, payments may be paid to eligible surviving dependents.
To find out about your eligibility for Federal Black Lung Benefits, contact the nearest Black Lung Benefits Office.
How can I learn about State disability benefits or compensation?
If you have been told by a physician that you have pneumoconiosis or other lung problems, you may have questions about whether you are eligible for any compensation from the State Government. Workers’ Compensation programs are different in every state, so you should contact your State Office of Workers’ Compensation.
Call now- if you don’t apply in time, you could lose your benefits forever.
How can I get a copy of my X-ray or find out more about my X-ray report?
NIOSH arranges for experts to review you chest X-ray and stores the film for future comparisons. If you need a copy or want more information about your chest X-ray, contact NIOSH.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program
1095 Willowdale Road- M/S LB208
Morgantown, WV 26505-2888
Toll Free: 1-888-480-4042
MSHA District Offices
|District 1 (Anthracite coal mining in PA)||Wilkes-Barre, PA||(570)826-6321|
|District 2 (Bituminous coal mining in PA)||Hunker, PA||(724)925-5150|
|District 3 (MD, OH, & Northern WV)||Morgantown, WV||(304)225-6800|
|District 4 (Southern WV)||Mt. Hope, WV||(304)877-3900|
|District 5 (VA)||Norton, VA||(276)679-0230|
|District 6 (Eastern KY)||Pikeville, KY||(606)432-0944|
|District 7 (Central KY, NC, SC, TN, Northeastern corner of AL & Northern GA)||Barbourville, KY||(606)546-5123|
|District 8 (IL, IN, IA, IN, MN, Northern MO & WI)||Vincennes, IN||(812)882-7617|
|District 9 (States West of Mississippi River, except for MN, IA & NORTHERN MO)||Denver, CO||(303)231-5458|
|District 10 (Western KY)||Madisonville, KY||(270)821-4180|
|District 11 (Central & Southern GA, FL, MS, PR & VI)||Birmingham, AL||(205)290-7300|
|District 12 (Southern WV)||Pineville WV||(304)253-5237|
Black Lung Benefits Offices
|Black Lung Office||PhoneNumber|
|NATIONAL OFFICE, U.S. Department of Labor-OWCP/DCMWC Washington, DC||(202)693-0824
|Charleston, West Virginia||(800)347-3753|
|Mount Sterling, Kentucky||(800)366-4628|
|Parkersburg, West Virginia||(800)347-3751|
Black Lung Clinics
|PENNSYLVANIA||Altoona Regional Health System||Altoona, Pennsylvania||(814)889-2853|
|PENNSYLVANIA||Alveoli, Inc.- Lungs at Work||McMurray, Pennsylvania||(724)941-1650|
|PENNSYLVANIA||Centerville Clinics, Inc.||Fredericktown, Pennsylvania||(724)632-6801 x2258|
|TENNESSEE||Community Health of East Tennessee||Jacksboro, Tennessee||(423)563-1009|
|VIRGINIA||St. Charles Health Council||Pennington Gap, Virginia||(276)546-5310 x3103|
|WEST VIRGINIA||Black Lung Clinics Program, West Virginia Department of Health||Charleston, West Virginia||(304)558-7127|
|ALABAMA||Birmingham Health Care, Inc.||Birmingham, Alabama||(205)212-5653|
|COLORADO||National Jewish Health||Denver, Colorado||(303)398-1867|
|ILLINOIS||J. H. Stroger Hospital Black Lung Clinics Program||Chicago, Illinois||(312)864-2901|
|ILLINOIS||Shawnee Health Services & Development Corporation||Carterville, Illinois||(618)985-8221|
|KENTUCKY||Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation||Whitesburg, Kentucky||(606)633-4823|
|KENTUCKY||Coal Miner Respiratory Clinic||Greenville, Kentucky||(270)338-8000 x301|
|NEW MEXICO||Miners’ Colfax Medical Center||Raton, New Mexico||(575)445-4585|
|OHIO||Ohio Black Lung Clinics Program, Ohio Department of Health||Columbus, Ohio||(614)644-8063|
State Offices of Workers’ Compensation
|ALABAMA||Workers’ Compensation Division||Montgomery, Alabama||(334)242-2868||(800)528-5166|
|ALASKA||Division Workers’ Compensation||Juneau, Alaska||(877)783-4980|
|ARIZONA||Industrial Commission||Phoenix, Arizona||(602)542-4661|
|ARKANSAS||Workers’ Compensation Commission||Little Rock, Arkansas||(501)682-3930||(800)622-4472|
|CALIFORNIA||Division of Workers’ Compensation||San Francisco, California||(415)703-5011||(800)736-7401|
|COLORADO||Division of Workers’ Compensation||Denver, Colorado||(303)318-8700||(888)390-7936|
|CONNECTICUT||Workers’ Compensation Commission||Hartford, Connecticut||(860)493-1500||(800)223-9675|
|DELAWARE||Office of Workers’ Compensation||Wilmington, Delaware||(302)761-8200|
|DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA||Office of Workers’ Compensation||Washington, District of Columbia||(202)671-1000|
|FLORIDA||Division of Workers’ Compensation||Tallahassee, Florida||(800)342-1741|
|GEORGIA||Board of Workers’ Compensation||Atlanta, Georgia||(404)656-3818||(800)533-0682|
|HAWAII||Disability Compensation Division||Honolulu, Hawaii||(808)586-9161|
|IDAHO||Industrial Commission||Boise, Idaho||(208)334-6000||(800)950-2110|
|ILLINOIS||Workers’ Compensation Commission||Chicago, Illinois||(312)814-6611||(866)352-3033|
|INDIANA||Workers’ Compensation Board||Indianapolis, Indiana||(317)232-3808||(800)824-2667|
|IOWA||Division of Workers’ Compensation||Des Moines, Iowa||(515)281-5387||(800)562-4692|
|KANSAS||Division of Workers’ Compensation||Topeka, Kansas||(785)296-2996||(800)322-0353|
|KENTUCKY||Office of Workers’ Claims||Frankfort, Kentucky||(502)564-5550||(800)554-8601|
|LOUISIANA||Office of Workers’ Compensation||Baton Rouge, Louisiana||(225)342-7555|
|MAINE||Workers’ Compensation Board||Augusta, Maine||(207)287-3751||(888)801-9087|
|MARYLAND||Workers’ Compensation Commission||Baltimore, Maryland||(410)864-5100||(800)492-0479|
|MASSACHUSETTS||Department of Industrial Accidents||Boston, Massachusetts||(617)727-4900||(800)323-3249|
|MICHIGAN||Workers’ Compensation Agency||Lansing, Michigan||(888)396-5041|
|MINNESOTA||Workers’ Compensation Division||St. Paul, Minnesota||(651)284-5005||(800)342-5354|
|MISSISSIPPI||Workers’ Compensation Commission||Jackson, Mississippi||(601)987-4200||(866)473-6922|
|MISSOURI||Division of Workers’ Compensation||Jefferson City, Missouri||(573)751-4231||(800)775-2667|
|MONTANA||Employment Relations Division||Helena, Montana||(406)444-6543|
|NEBRASKA||Workers’ Compensation Court||Lincoln, Nebraska||(402)471-6468||(800)599-5155|
|NEVADA||Division of Industrial Relations||Carson City, Nevada||(775)684-7260|
|NEW HAMPHSHIRE||Workers’ Compensation Division||Concord, New Hampshire||(603)271-3176||(800)272-4353|
|NEW JERSEY||Division of Workers’ Compensation||Trenton, New Jersey||(609)292-2515|
|NEW MEXICO||Workers’ Compensation Administration||Albuquerque, New Mexico||(505)841-6000||(800)255-7965|
|NEW YORK||Workers’ Compensation Board||Albany, New York||(518)462-8880||(877)632-4996|
|NORTH CAROLINA||Industrial Commission||Raleigh, North Carolina||(919)807-2501||(800)688-8349|
|NORTH DAKOTA||Workforce Safety and Insurance||Bismarck, North Dakota||(701)328-3800||(800)777-5033|
|OHIO||Bureau of Workers’ Compensation||Columbus, Ohio||(800)644-6292|
|OKLAHOMA||Workers’ Compensation Court||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma||(405)522-8600||(800)522-8210|
|OREGON||Workers’ Compensation Division||Salem, Oregon||(503)947-7810||(800)452-0288|
|PENNSYLVANIA||Bureau of Workers’ Compensation||Harrisburg, Pennsylvania||(717)783-5421||(800)482-2383|
|PUERTO RICO||Industrial Commission||San Juan, Puerto Rico||(787)781-0545|
|RHODE ISLAND||Division of Workers’ Compensation||Cranston, Rhode Island||(401)462-8100|
|SOUTH CAROLINA||Workers’ Compensation Commission||Columbia, South Carolina||(803)737-5700|
|SOUTH DAKOTA||Division of Labor & Management||Pierre, South Dakota||(605)773-3681|
|TENNESSEE||Division of Workers’ Compensation||Nashville, Tennessee||(615)741-2395||(800)332-2667|
|TEXAS||Division of Workers’ Compensation||Austin, Texas||(512)804-4000||(800)252-7031|
|UTAH||Labor Commission, Division of Industrial Accidents||Salt Lake City, Utah||(801)530-6800||(800)530-5090|
|VERMONT||Workers’ Compensation Division||Montpelier, Vermont||(802)828-2286||(800)734-2286|
|VIRGINIA||Workers’ Compensation Commission||Richmond, Virginia||(877)664-2566|
|VIRGIN ISLANDS||Workers’ Compensation Administration||St. Thomas, Virgin Islands||(340)776-3700||(800)809-8477|
|WASHINGTON||Insurance Services Division||Tumwater, Washington||(360)902-5800||(800)547-8367|
|WEST VIRGINIA||OFFICES OF INSURANCE COMMISSION||Charleston, West Virginia||(304)558-3386||(888)879-9842|
|WISCONSIN||Workers’ Compensation Division||Madison, Wisconsin||(608)266-1340|
|WYOMING||Workers’ Compensation Division||Cheyenne, Wyoming||(307)777-5476|
- Page last reviewed: April 17, 2013
- Page last updated: April 17, 2013
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Surveillance Branch