As a previously discussed here, miners in Ohio and elsewhere face dangers to their health because of the environment they work in. Work-related lung diseases could occur, and miners that suffer such a fate are often left dealing with serious health issues. This can become problematic over time, as the worker is likely to require frequent and ongoing medical treatment, making it difficult to maintain their job.
The impact of lung disease on miners is apparent. Various legislation has been passed over the years to specifically address these health concerns and workplace illnesses suffered by miners. Based on recent reports, a new bill is in the works. This bill specifically aims to assist retired coal miners.
The American Miners Act of 2019 seeks to accomplish various tasks. To begin, it will amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. It will be altered so excess funds will be transferred so existing obligations under the Abandoned Mine Land Fund for the 1974 pension plan are met. This will ultimately help to prevent insolvency in matters when a coal company undergoes bankruptcy.
The next thing this bill seeks to do is extend the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. This change would make the tax at $1.10 per ton of underground-mined coal and $0.55 for surface-mined coal for a duration of 10 years. This tax is viewed as critical, as it provides both healthcare and benefits for more than 25,000 miners and their dependents. Finally, this bill will help ensure that healthcare will not be lost by those at risk of losing their jobs because of 2018 bankruptcies.
When a coal miner or any other worker develops a work-related illness, it is important to understand the laws that could benefits them. In addition to bills designed to help workers is certain industries, it is important to also consider benefits such as workers' comp. This benefit could help offset losses and damages caused by the workplace illnesses.