Spare we Black Lung, ain’t a deterrent here: clamors of damped Indian Mineworkers, a far cry to legislature – A Study of India’s lex loci on Mine Hazards wherein Coal Respiratory Diseases, with a reference to American Black lung Laws              

This article was submitted by Adarsh Raj Singh Chaudhary,  a 2nd year student of B.A.LL.B. (Hons.), University of Petroleum and Energy studies, Dehradun as a part of a blogging contest which may lead to his selection as an iPleaders Energy Law Fellow. The fellow will be selected on the basis on engagement on these posts as well as quality of writing and research. We emphasise on engagement because it shows one’s ability to generate interest in an otherwise arcane subject like energy laws. The selected fellow will receive a paid internship with a boutique energy law firm in Delhi (stipend of INR 7000), an opportunity to be mentored by very senior lawyers  and a free course worth INR 5000 from iPleaders. If you want to participate, write to [email protected] for instructions.



Ours is truly a mineral civilization, a civilization which stands and falls on its capacity to produce staggering amounts of some minerals and varying quantities of many others” [1]

Tis considered, work enables a man to get strong, sufficient and independent, thus in today’s world life, or to live means work, thus work is a reason to life, but the reason this paper is written is death, and life is our purpose, thousands of miner die each year,[2] thus for their support an initiation has been lead, therefore this paper is truly aimed towards enhancing the work conditions and benefits for miners suffering from occupational hazards in India with a contrast on Indian miner’s occupational health laws and American coal miners health law, with a special emphasis on occupational disease also case study is been supplied wherever it deemed  necessary.

Albeit, there might be a plethora of occupational diseases, in the present Century assorted communicable and non-communicable and some yet to be defined, but with the recent administrative advancements most of them had got legal status too under varied laws, still when it comes to execution of such laws for serving of the purpose of such acts, whereby behind such laws the sententia legis on certain occasions have been complacent, as if the conundrum of these attenuated miners was a far cry to the legislative ears, though the legislative actions too can’t be completely disregarded as well because even though enough recognition of Black Lung hadn’t been seen in India, still their diddley concerns for the mineworker’s health can be seen through various legislations i.e. The coal provident fund (…)[3],  The coal mines pension scheme,1998, Payment of wages (mines) Rules,1956 etc. Hence on such a huge subject (say) occupational disease an attempt had been made against the rife conditions and ongoing exploitation of such occupational employees with a research purely based upon Coal mining Respiratory  diseases called Pneumoconiosis and alike – silicosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (hereinafter COPD),  coal worker’s pneumoconiosis(hereinafter CWP) perhaps commonly known as Black lung;[4] a ghost which have had been daunting and haunting the miner’s lungs long past decades whereas the reason why black lung is foremost among occupational diseases being the consequences of it up on the miners, which may equalize with any other natural catastrophe and the incompetence of the Indian laws and processes to protect the mineworkers from such hazard erstwhile, but what can bring much shame than that every year where such thousands of miners are croaking and more thousands are marching forward to their tomb, they still haven’t got any recognition of suffice by the media, law commission  and as afore mentioned the legislature of India, and proper reliable surveys could had been possible for these miners in the past decades post-independence.

Placing a Background in the discussion

Mining “means any excavation where any operation for the purpose of searching for or obtaining minerals has been or is being carried on . . .”[5] the same had been lucubrated as:

Mining is one such activities[Sic.] pose variety of problems. Main dangers of mining are related to faulty mining procedures, equipment used, roof collapse, fire, gas-dust explosions, flood. While the risks are lower in modern times, they always exist in some form or other, Lack of safety regulations, failure to comply with, account for many, and if not most of all mining accidents. Many of the mines operate without safety licenses and employ inexperience workers. Mining also presents a series of health hazards, which are mostly ignored.[6]

One of the contributors to GDP of India, mining has contributions “vary[ing] from 2.2-2.5%.”[7]

. . . [To] GDP of the total industrial sector it contributes around 10% to 11%. Even mining done on small scale contributes 6% to the entire cost of mineral production. Indian mining industry provides job opportunities to around one million individuals for direct employment and ten times of this figure indirectly [all over].[8]

Globally, the mine worker’s force contributes 1% to total workforce of world, specifically 30 million of which one third being coal workers, mining supports 300 million people all around the world, Wherein mining is also a fatal job as it accounts for 15,000 deaths annually, where mining workers are subject to approx. 8% of all work related fatalities.[9]

Shifting over Mining to occupational health, it has gained global attention since various mining accidents like in West Virginia’s mine accidents of 20th century is one of the most influential incidents which attracted eyes from worldwide, hence also got recognition in ILO & WHO which defined occupational health as “[o]ccupational health encompasses the social, mental and physical well-being of workers, that is the whole person.”[10] Whereas occupational health and safety can be expressed as follows:

Occupational health and safety is a discipline with a broad scope involving many specialized fields. In its broadest sense, it should aim at:

  • The promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations;
  • The prevention among workers of adverse effects on health caused by their working conditions;
  • The protection of workers in their employment from risks resulting from factors adverse to health;
  • The placing and maintenance of workers in an occupational environment adapted to physical and mental needs.
  • The adaptation of work to humans.[11]

Work is one of the vital contents of a human lifestyle, wherein it shall be presumed that an average person from mine, office, factory or plantation etc. works at least 8 hours a day, hence for such works safety and healthy environment becomes a necessity under Article 21 of Indian Constitution and that too under U.N Human rights charter, perhaps the employee’s vulnerability to hazard differs from one workplace to another. Whereby hazards at a mining site can be from:

  • ‘dusts;
  • Gases;
  • Noise;
  • Vibration;
  • Extreme temperatures.”[12]


What is Black Lung?

So, considering the hazards from dust, where from the most common and yet lowly discussed disease being BLACK LUNG! And other coal related respiratory diseases have germinated, and went pandemic. “[While] [ ] work[ing] [in] coal mines these miners are covered with dust. It’s in their Hair, clothes and their skin. It gets between their teeth and they swallow it they suck so much of it into their lungs until they die they never stop[Sic.] spitting up.”[13] Their breaths get heavier each day, and in case they need to catch their breath, they have to stop their bread and butter, Whereas Bauxite pneumoconiosis, also known as Shaver’s disease, corundum smelter’s lung, bauxite lung or bauxite smelters’ disease, is a progressive form of pneumoconiosis caused by exposure to bauxite fumes which contain aluminum and silica particulates, similarly when CWP becomes persistent for 15-20 yrs. Then it is known as Advanced CWP [14] known as “. . . miner’s asthma, silicosis, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis [Sic.], coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, or black lung-they are all dust diseases with the same symptoms.”[15] Etymology for Black lungs can be traced from past 190 years ago in 1822 where breathlessness, coal dust spitting, coughing to miners was coined as ‘miner’s asthma’ by doctors for identification. Later after advances in medical technologies and with further research on the subject the disease came to known as Coal worker’s pneumoconiosis famously known as Black lung.[16] Whereas the term coal worker’s pneumoconiosis was first used by British in 1942, the same year another respiratory disease germinated called silicosis, caused when consumed quartz or silica dust, which occurred in mine workers of metal and non-metal.[17] Though in early times consider 18th century in Europe specially Britain, there was a huge devaluation of threat from Black lung, which got indulged in too much of corrupt practices by the industrialists who tried to prove that improved ventilation system had eliminated the Black lung, whereas some medical experts particularly those which were company oriented said that coal dust was beneficial and did no harm to the miners, to save the profit interests of the company.[18]

One of the major incidents reported can be of Hawk’s nest Tunnel near Gauley Bridge, West Virginia during 1930, where many people being on cloud 9 at getting jobs but the wave of shock arrived when they never returned home, at 1936 congressional investigation, a witness accounted 476 deaths, though after various efforts were made for compensation, still it’s performance went unsuccessful.[19]

The major achievement sought in this field was of British who went successful in 1927 by examining the miners’ chest X-rays differences between silica and coal mine dust exposure, Later, concerned with increasing disability among miners, the British medical research council(hereinafter BMRC) which did an empirical study on such elusive chronic pulmonary disease, in 1937, with wales coal miners.  Then in 1945 “[t]he BMRC, laid the foundation of Pneumoconiosis Research Unit near Cardiff, Wales [whose] [ ] contributions have played a major international role in . . . prevention of the disease.”[20] “The International Labor Organization (hereinafter ILO) released a standardized method of describing and classifying the X-ray changes developed by British, these international classification was further refined in 1958 and 1968,”[21] thence “these photographs and X-rays evidencing compartmentalization were made public from the ILO.[22]

ILO, projects around 6 million artisan miners over the globe, especially in poverty struck regions. Thus causing a huge fuss, as these miners do not have any legal status and are also not associated with the mines legally, and thus are the ones who are at ultimate loss, therefore ILO has also came up with some steps against the mining respiratory diseases such as Basic Occupational Health Service (hereinafter BOHS) policies for expansion of coverage and occupational health services across the globe. [23]

Whereas the status quo regarding occupational diseases in India under laws are discussed in workmen’s compensation act, factories act and for miners in various other legislations as follows:

Under the Mines rule, 1955 chapter IV-A, a mandate has been provided with for medical examinations of employee’s and upcoming employees. And thus has following regulations – which “. . . the medical exams are for employees who have done work in mines for at least 6 months.”[24]

“There shall be an owner, agent or manager made on arrangements in behalf of Mining co. which shall be appointed by the central govt. under an official gazette for arrangements of:”[25]

  1. “. . . initial medical examination of every person employed in the mine, within a period of five years of the date so notified and the said examination shall be so arranged over a period of five years that one-fifth of the persons employed at the mine undergo the examination every year:”[26]

Provided that in the case of a mine where a system of carrying out of such medical examination (of a comparable standard as determined by the Chief Inspector) is already in existence before the date aforesaid, a person who has undergone a medical examination under such a system on a date not earlier than five years before the date aforesaid, shall be deemed to have undergone an initial medical examination under this sub-clause and the last date of his medical examination under the said system shall be taken to be the date of his initial medical examination under these rules;[27]

  1. “For [ ] initial medical examination of every person seeking employment in a mine, unless such person has already undergone within the preceding five years, a medical examination under these rules while in employment [even] at another mine; and”[28]
  2. ‘A periodical medical examination had to be conducted of every employee with the intervals of 5 years at maximum.”[29]

“Provided . . .  the periodic medical examination or the X-ray examination or both, shall be conducted at more frequent intervals if the examining authority deems it necessary to confirm a suspected case of dust-related disease” [30]

  1. “. . . [every] medical examination under 29B,”[31] “in the form M, a 20 days prior notice to be passed to a person about to be examined, and in case of an applicant for employment this period might get reduced, by the manager.”[32]
  2. “It shall be a duty of the examining authorities to let know the manager whether the concerned person has submitted himself for medical examinations.”[33]
  3. A person, who for any reasonable cause, fails to submit himself for a medical examination in accordance with the notice issued to him under sub-rule (1), shall be given a second notice of a minimum period of ten days in Form N, by the manager and a copy of every such notice shall be sent by the manager to the examining authority.[34]
  4. But quite contrary to the above norm if in case the person fails to turn up for the medical examination without a reasonable and just cause, might result into dismissal of the person from the employment, and hence cannot be legally employed.


Provided that a person who renders himself so liable to be discharged for failure to submit himself for medical examination shall be required to show cause why he could not comply with the notice within the time specified therein. If his explanation is found satisfactory by the management, he shall be given another chance to appear for medical examination. In case his explanation is not found satisfactory by the management, his service shall be terminated by the management:

  Provided further that in case of any dispute, the same shall be referred to the Chief Inspector for his decision within 60 days of the order communicated by the owner, agent or manager of the mine to the said   person.[Sic.][35]

  1. In case of medical examinations of women, thy have been given an option during medical examinations to abstain from if the women without her consent been treated by a male practitioner with no women in vicinity.[36]
  2. In furtherance, if a person unsatisfied by one’s medical report can appeal for re-examination, which shall be allowed under section – 29(J)
  3. Now we may welcome that section which was thought to be the guardian angel for miner’s health, had turned out to be the gargantuan mafia who acts as a slayer to the miners bread and butter, due to its sly usage by the mining corp. namesake – section 29(M) read with sec. 3 of workmen compensation act, 1923 – whose title reads as “Unfit persons not to be employed” –
  4. If in case under sub section -(a),(b) of 29B, a person declared unfit in a mine or in any other category of mine, after the expiry of 30 days from the medical examination. Except he may have filed for appeal of re-examination.
  5. After, the person had filed for re-examination, and the results have turned out again contrary to his health, then again the person might not be employed in any of the mines, or of its types and shall be dismissed from the employment from the expiry of 30 days counting from date of re-examination by appellate medical board.


Provided that, if the Medical Officer carrying out the initial medical examination under clause (a), or the periodical examination under clause (b) of rule 29B, or the Appellate Medical Board carrying out the medical re-examination of persons already in employment is of the opinion that the disability of the person examined is of such a nature and degree that it will not seriously affect or interfere with the normal discharge of his duties, it may recommend his continuation in employment in the mine for a period not exceeding six months during which such person may get his disability cured or controlled and submit himself for another medical examination and be declared fit.[37]

  • During the course of the medical examination or re-examination if it is found that the person has come into contact with any occupational disease conferred in part C of schedule III enshrined under Workmen’s compensation act, 1923 the person shall become eligible for applicability of section 3 of the said act,[38] where under section 3 it is though declared that the occupational diseases will be compensatory, but with certain restrictions that only and if the injury results in absolute or partial impairment unto the worker that too the employer won’t be made if in case the employee failed to comply with the so set safety standards or in case under the influence of drug or any intoxicating material.
  • “All the costs incurring in the medical examination as well as re-examination shall and all other medical expenses shall be avowed by the owner of the mine”[39] as an employer if in case of all or any threat to the health of the miner.

The reason for which in the afore mentioned paragraphs the Indians laws being called draconian of the nature is because these provisions never very specifically favor the protection of miner’s health as in case of miners the CWP is a gradually developing disease which cannot be detected at the very early stage and in some cases may take more than a decade, whereas when it comes to litigation in the very court of law, the miners who are of low economic standards, can’t afford good lawyers or lawyers itself at times, thus the cause of these diseases gets highly debated, where in certain cases it was observed in American courts that, the lawyers of mining corporations turned the face of the case during the trails by proving that the CWP so caused in the lungs of the miners were due to their smoking habits, which conclusively excluded the miners from taking the compensation, and when such situation occurs where these miners don’t get compensation they are also expelled from their jobs which at the end force them to continue their jobs even under such a detrimental disease without raising a voice against their authority for such working conditions, tis believed a mirror view of Indian mines can be gained from here too, where same can be made possible through the application of section 3 of workmen compensation act, 1923

 Under the occupational disease laws the next legislation is the coal mines regulation – 1957, the aim of such legislation is to provide a mine with precautions and standards from the standpoint of workplace environment in the mines, wherein our focus point is the occupational disease provisions, which is provided in Regulation no. 11 which talks about notice of disease as that when any person contacts with a disease while in course of employment under a mine notified in official gazette of govt., “. . . the owner, agent or manger shall, with three days of his being informed or the disease, give notice thereof in Form V to the District Magistrate, the Coal Mines Labor Welfare Commissioner, the Chief Inspector, the Regional Inspector and the Inspector of Mines (Medical).”[40]

The Executive as well as judiciary on Occupational Health

Occupational health comes under inspection cadre of Directorate General of Mines Safety (Hereinafter DGMS), at administrative central Tier under the Ministry of labor and Employment, where:

Occupational Health cadre formerly known as Industrial Hygiene cadre was constituted as Medical Inspectorate in 1942 to administer the health and welfare provisions under Mines Act and Rules. The work of the officers in Occupational Health Cadre in Directorate General of Mines Safety relates to the enforcement of the provisions of Mines Act relating to the health, first aid, sanitation and welfare in mines; overseeing the medical surveillance exercised by the mines management; acting as secretary / convener of various medical boards under the statutes and carrying out occupational health and hygiene investigations and surveys.[41]

  The functions of DGMS under occupational health include:

Investigations and studies

  1. Development and planning of programs for carrying out air-borne dust surveys in mines.
  2. Development and planning of programs for conducting surveys of environmental conditions pertaining to the health of workers in mines.
  3. Development and planning of programs for studies and investigations into the incidence of occupational diseases in mines.
  4. Development and planning of programs for investigating into the physiological effects of mining work on different categories of mine workers.

Occupational Health Services and Medical Boards

  1. To oversee Initial and Periodical Medical Examinations of mine workers conducted by mine management.
  2. To oversee Occupational Health Services set up by Mining Companies
  3. To conduct Senior, Junior medical examinations of persons above 60 years of age and Periodical Medical Examinations under CMR / MMR through Medical Boards
  4. To Conduct Medical Examinations through Appellate Medical Board constituted under the Mines Rules.


  1. To deal with all matters relating to the health and welfare including issue of circulars, guidelines / clarifications, concerning the provisions contained in:
  2. Mines Act, Mines Rules and CMR / MMR relating to :
  3. Drinking water, sanitation & conservancy.
  4. First-aid, Medical appliances and Occupational diseases.
  5. Medical examination of mine workers.
  6. Welfare amenities including appointment of Welfare Officers.
  7. Occupational Health Surveys
  8. Precautions against dust
  9. Mines Crèche Rules.[42]

The Judicial endeavor, one of the pillars of Indian democracy and epitome of justice, the works of judiciary especially Supreme Court’s judgment can be counted as one of the most credible works as the honorable court in its recent judgment of  Occupational Health and Safety Association … Versus Union of India and others[43] laid the recommendations put forward as suggestions:

  1. Comprehensive medical checkup of all workers in all coal fired thermal power stations by doctors appointed in consultation with the trade unions. First medical check up to be completed within six months, then to be done on yearly basis.
  2. Free and comprehensive medical treatment to be provided to all workers found to be suffering from an occupational disease, ailment or accident, until cured or until death.
  3. Services of the workmen not to be terminated during illness and to be treated as if on duty.
  4. Compensation to be paid to workmen suffering from any occupational disease, aliment or accident in accordance with the provisions of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923.
  5. Modern protective equipment to be provided to workmen as recommended by an expert body in consultation with the trade unions.
  6. Strict control measures to be immediately adopted for the control of dust, heat, noise, vibration and radiation to be recommended by the National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH) Ahmadabad, Gujarat.
  7. All employees to abide by the Code of Practice on Occupational Safety and Health Audit as developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
  8. Safe methods are followed for the handling, collection and disposal of hazardous waste to be recommended by NIOH.
  9. Appointment of a Committee of experts by NIOH including Therein Trade Union representatives and Health and Safety NGO’s to look into the issue of Health and Safety of workers and make recommendations.[44]

Now, after analyzing Indian laws on Coal respiratory disease we may turn to the American Legislations on Black lungs which are counterpart to Indian occupational health laws,

The American phase

The American Black lung law, after 1977th amendment is an outcome of series of legislations from 20th century which were intended to safeguard the miners, but due to their incapacity they went through long scrutiny by the legislature and finally the American congress came out with a final draft on health of miners or  occupational health which had got broadened scope and various other advancements if compared to earlier legislations such as “the federal coal mine health and safety act of 1969”[45] which targeted for maintaining coal mineworkers health conditions. Later came up the black lung benefits act, 1972 which enlarged the claiming person’s eligibility.[46] The final change made in the legislation was brought by the “black lung reforms act,1977 which was enforced from 1st march of 1978,”[47] the major relief was to rail road industries wherein, the miners got delineate which now included a worker who has or did coal construction works or logistics of coal or had or have been working in the vicinity of a coal mine, and the work done was of such a nature that the worker working might have got queered to the coal dust.  The definition of miners was also brought up in the following cases below in the next section of judicial works –

The case of Roberts v. Weinberger,[48] in appellate court, the new defined miner inscribed the  worker performing jobs like carrying, uploading and transportation of coal till consumer.”[49]

Later advancements were also made in silicosis where:

Damages for silicosis were awarded under the Federal Employers* Liability Act to an engine service man who was required to work in more or less a cloud of silica dust in loading sandboxes of locomotives. The jury in that case found that the dust was necessarily inhaled and entered the employee’s lungs, destroying the tissues by reason of which “tuberculosis has been superimposed, resulting in total permanent disability.’ ” ‘Silicosis’ is a definite occupational disease of the lungs, caused by breathing in air containing sharp particles of dust which lodge in the lungs.[50]

American Black Lung Law

However, the structure of act (black lung benefits act) is as follows:

To be ennobled, for Black lung benefits there have to be these three stipulations fulfilled which are:

  1. A person rather worker should be a miner, where miner as defined earlier meaning any work where the worker is at vicinity of coal and is likely to be affected by its dust particles.[51]
  2. “The person must be or have been at the time of death totally dis abled, which does not mean that he is or was unable to work at all. Rather, since the 1972 amendments, this term has been de fined to mean that a miner is unable to “engage in gainful employment . . .”[52]
  3. “The total disability must be due to pneumoconiosis, meaning a “chronic dust disease of the lung and its sequel, including respiratory and pulmonary impairments, arising out of coal mine employment . . .”[53]

if a miner was employed for fifteen years or more in one or more underground coal mines, and if there is a chest X-ray . . . interpreted as negative with respect to (the irrefutable presumption), and if other evidence demonstrates the existence of a totally disabling respiratory or pulmonary impairment, then there shall be a rebuttable presumption that such miner is totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis, or that at the time of death he was totally disabled by pneumoconiosis . . .[54]

“The regulations cited also contain the requirements for evidence to counter the rebuttable presumptions. When length of coal mine employment is less than ten years, proof that the disease arose out of such employment must be established on the basis of actual evidence.”[55]

For claims filed under Part B, the persons entitled to benefits are set out in Section 922(a) of Title 30, U.S.C.; Section 932(c) states that the same categories of persons set out in Section 922(a) are also entitled to benefits under Part C. Those claimants are listed in the statute and in the regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Labor, and published in 20 C.F.R. Section 725, as follows:

  • A miner who is determined to be totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis;
  • Or the surviving spouse or surviving divorced spouse or, where neither exists, the child of a deceased miner, where the deceased miner: a) was receiving benefits under Section 925 (transition period) or Part C; or
  1. b) is determined to have been totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis at the time of death, or to have died due to pneumoconiosis; or

3) The child of a miner’s surviving spouse who was receiving benefits under Section 925 or Part C of the Act at the time of such spouse’s death; or

4) The surviving dependent parents where there is no surviving spouse or child, or the surviving dependent brothers or sisters, where there is no surviving spouse, child, or parent of a miner who was receiving benefits under Section 925 or Part C of the Act at the time of death, or who was totally or partially disabled due to pneumoconiosis at the time of death, or whose death was due to pneumoconiosis.

5) The eligible survivors of a miner employed in the mines for twenty five or more years prior to June 30,1971, if the claim for benefits was filed before March 1, 1978, 6) Benefits to an entitled miner or surviving spouse will be increased where there are dependents who meet certain relationship and dependency requirements.[56]

The miner’s monthly benefits are awarded only up to when the disease ceases to exist or the deceased dies, for spouse they continue until whole life or until remarriage. And in case of child these are the conditions – death, marriage, had been of 18, and are not a student or disabled, in case of student till the age of 23 with no disability or when he/she is no longer disabled. [57]

“Provision is made under both Parts B and C for reduction of any benefit payments by the amount of any compensation received under or pursuant to any federal or state workmen’s compensation law because of death or disability due to pneumoconiosis.”[58]

One of the major altruist amendments made in 1977 also includes the limitation on filing of claims, and changed the period for filing a claim to 3 years from date of disability to determination of it.

Under medical benefits are and can only be claimed by the miners affected from occupational disease, the benefits includes  medical, surgical, treatment, nursing and hospital services (also logistics), medicines, and any other aesculapian service or supply.

 “Operator [who has to]provide benefits . . . [can] participate in the adjudication of the claim, and May . . . miner to . . . [produce evidence] in determining . . . medical benefits.”[59]

While the worker is getting necessary accompaniment such as medical benefits now for survival of him and his family the worker or his/her representative will get monetary benefits too.. Which is discussed as follows?

The amount decided for black lung benefits at monthly intervals is coded in sec.922(a) of the U.S CODE in 30th title, whereas section 932(d) adopts for claims avowed in part C, and the similar amount is provided in section 922 for claims filed in part B, as below:

1) In the case of total disability of a miner due to pneumoconiosis, the disabled miner shall be paid benefits during the disability at a rate equal to 50 per centum of the minimum monthly payment to which a Federal employee in grade GS-2, who is totally disabled, is entitled at the time of payment under Chapter 81 of Title 5 (“basic rate”).

 2) In the case of death of a miner due to pneumoconiosis or of a miner receiving benefits under this part, benefits shall be paid to his widow (if any) at the rate the deceased miner would receive such benefits if he were totally disabled.

3) In the case of a surviving child … he shall be paid benefits at the rate specified in paragraph (1). If there is more than one such child, the benefits paid shall be divided equally among them and shall be . . . increased by 50 per centum of such rate if there are two such children, by 75 per centum of such rate if there are three such children, and by 100 per centum of such rate if there are more than three such children.

4) In the case of an individual entitled to benefit payments under (1) or (2) who has one or more dependents, the benefit payments shall be increased at the rate of 50 per centum of such benefit payments, if such individual has one dependent, 75 per centum if such individual has two dependents, and 100 per centum if such individual has three or more dependents.[60]

The penicillin and conclusion

Hence, up till here we had been discussing what and how about of Mine respiratory diseases, in two different continents as sufferers of pandemic, thus after all the discussions made and references produced, the subject is still left to describe about is nothing but the solution, well solution to black lung or other mine respiratory disease lies in Prevention! Than cure but at places where the disease haven’t turned into in complete shape or rather not reached the last stage the cure suggested is Lung transplant,[61]

“Thus we may also conclude that a corporation running absolutely by the principles of capitalism,”[62] cannot be a society and environment friendly, and same is suggested to Indian mining corporations, that the law should not be created at need of the hour rather prevention is a better and the new cure, so from the inferences made above of American legislations and of the supreme court case, tis believed that miners will see a better and promising future and mining as a career will also provide with equally healthy conditions as of other safe occupational workplaces. Thus being a sanguine visionary it is believed that there will be a tomorrow, a tomorrow better than today and far better than the past, where if the malady not cured completely at least would come down to a level below of nose.

[1] See generally, erich zimmerman, world resources and industries(1933)

[2] richard l. trumka, The Prevention of Dust Diseases in Coal Miners 338(Sep 1938)

[3] the coal mines provident fund and miscellaneous provisions act, 1948

[4] Occupational  Respiratory disease surveillance(Jan. 2015)available at,

[5] mines act,1952 s.(2)

[6] See generally training modules on basic occupational health services occupational health in mining(Jan 2015)

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Stephanie Joyce, Major Issues in Miner Health A538 (Nov. 1998),

[10] Supra n.7 at 2

[11] Id.

[12] Id. n.11 at 3

[13] lorien e. kerr, black lung 50(Mar. 1980)

[14] Id.

[15] Id.

[16] Id,

[17] Id., see also, stephanie joyce, major issues in miners health A540 (Nov 1998), JOYCE, MAJOR ISSUES IN MINER HEALTH A538 (Jan 2015),

[18] Supra. n.14 51

[19] Id. n.14 51-52

[20] Id. 52

[21] Id. 53 (the international classification talked hasn’t been described much but in brief tis reported to show characteristic chest x -ray changes which have been Observed in workers exposed to anthracite or bituminous coal-mine dust And some other carbon dusts both in Britain and the United States lung Changes observed after death are specifically characteristic.)  See also, (The standard films provide differing types “shape and size” and severity “profusion” of abnormalities seen in persons with pneumoconiosis, including Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis, silicosis, and asbestosis. The reader then classifies the subject film, often recording the findings on the NIOSH Roentgen graphic Interpretation form. The ILO Classification system pertains to pulmonary parenchymal abnormalities “small and large opacities”, pleural changes “pleural plaques, calcification, and diffuse pleural thickening” and other features associated, or sometimes confused, with occupational lung disease)

[22] Id. 53

[23] Supra, n.7 at 2

[24] the mines rules, 1955(hereinafter mr.) s.29(a)

[25] mr. s.29(b)

[26] Id. s. 29(B)(a)(i)

[27] Id.

[28] mr. s. 29(B) (a) (ii)

[29] Id. s. 29(B) (b)

[30] Id.

[31] Supra, n.7 at 2

[32] mr. s.29(D)(1)

[33] Id. s.29 (D) (4)

[34] Id. s.29 (D) (3)

[35] Id. s.29 (E)

[36] mr. s.29(I)

[37] Id. S.29(M)

[38] Id. 29(N)

[39] Supra n.25 at 6 s.29(0)

[40] Supra n.7 at 2

[41] Id.

[42] Supra n.7 at 2

[43] 2014 AIR SCW 952

[44] Supra n. 44 at 10

[45] c. keith meiser, the black lung benefits act 813(1982)

[46] Id.

[47] Id.

[48] 27 F.2d 600 (4th Cir. 1975).

[49] Supra n.46 at 11 815

[50] Id. 824

[51] Id. 816

[52] Id.

[53] Id.

[54] Supra n. 46 at 11 816-17

[55] Id. 817

[56] Id.

[57] Supra n. 46 at 11 818

[58] Id. 820

[59] Id. 821

[60] Supra n.46 at 11 822

[61] See generally Barbara Ellen smith, Digging Our Own Graves: Coal Miners and the Struggle over Black Lung Disease,(1988) Also See, (the review made by  Curtis Seltzer, is also equally helpful and can provide with ample data regarding black lung), Also see ( the article written by Richard l trumka it has specially focused on the miners health issue, the article is named as the prevention of disease in coal miners) Also see (Massive Fibrosis and Simple Pneumoconiosis in Ex-Miners by W. M. Maclaren and C. A. Soutar) (emphasis supplied) Accord (for details one may check the Appalachian journal specially the mining editions)

[62] barbara ellen smith, digging our own graves: coal miners and the struggle over black lung disease,(1988) HTTP://WWW.JSTOR.ORG/STABLE/40933403

Accord id. (the review made by  Curtis Seltzer, is complementary to the article, enables reader to clear the stand of writer’s as well as of the reviewer)

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