BLACK LUNG: Percy Verrall was diagnosed with black lung disease in 2015. He was the first Australian diagnosed with the disease in 30 years.
BLACK LUNG: Percy Verrall was diagnosed with black lung disease in 2015. He was the first Australian diagnosed with the disease in 30 years. Contributed

Black lung forums in CQ as over 100 diagnosed

THERE are over 100 working and retired Queensland coal miners diagnosed with the deadly black lung disease.

this shocking number is one of the reasons why the Mine Dust Diseases Victims Group will hold forums in Rockhampton, Mackay and Moranbah next week to discuss the disease.

Victims Group advocate Jim Pearce said 105 current and retired Queensland coal industry workers have now been diagnosed with industrial lung disease.

READ: 35-year-old coal miner forced to quit work after black lung diagnosis

"We are aware that there at least 200 more workers going through the testing and diagnosis process,” Mr 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 forums will also discuss the financial burden facing most families living with the disease.

"Workers at hundreds of coal and related coal dust-bearing workplaces risk of years of illness and possible death because of excessive exposure.

READ: The cruel legacy of a life in the mines

"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 purchase best-practice technology and expertise.

"We are also lobbying for a mobile van for local testing and assessment of coal industry employees.”

ROCKHAMPTON FORUM:

Monday, April 15 at the Rockhampton Leagues Club at 6.30pm

MACKAY FORUM:

Tuesday, April 16 at the Shamrock Hotel Conference Room at 6.30pm

MORANBAH FORUM:

Wednesday, April 17 at the Moranbah Community Workers Club at 6.30pm



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