Coal was once the main method of fuel production, and although it has decreased over the years, there are still numerous people involved in the coal industry today. This profession is highly physical and can easily lead to work-related injuries.
Coal mining is employed in two different methods: surface mining and underground mining. The geographical conditions of the site determine the method and there are multiple techniques implemented to both methods. However, the most basic difference is that surface mining occurs on the surface level, typically using explosives to expose coal; and underground mining occurs below the surface by using tunnels to access the coal. Miners are required by both methods to lift, kneel, crawl, and squat to complete the coal extraction, but underground mining requires much more crawling.
Developing Miner’s Knee from Work
Coal miners are likely to develop knee problems because of the nature of their profession. “Miner’s Knee”, or osteoarthritis, is highly prevalent among miners and can cause severe problems. Osteoarthritis is caused by the breaking down of the cartilage that provides cushioning between bones. This results in severe pain, swelling and reduction in the joint’s mobility. The cartilage eventually wears and the knee bones rub together creating even more serious health damage.
Miners are at double risk then the general adult population for osteoarthritis. Because of the extremely high correlation between the industry and the disease, miner’s knee is now considered an occupational condition that makes a sufferer eligible for financial compensation.
Qualifying Factors for Benefits
Miners who worked for ten plus years prior to 1986 should qualify for miner’s knee benefits. For miners employed after 1986, one, if not multiple conditions must be met. You must have worked as:
- Face-salvage worker.
- Conveyor attendant or cleaner.
- Development worker.
- Face work on a non-mechanised coal face.
If you meet even one of those conditions, then you may be eligible to collect benefits for miner’s knee. If your osteoarthritis was caused by negligence of another party, however, you may be able to claim a personal injury as well and collect compensation. If you think you may be eligible, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options today.
Be sure to preclude a legal consultation with a doctor’s visit to diagnose and treat your injuries. It will not only help your injury, but also provide you a basis for your claim should your lawyer advise you to proceed. Work with an experienced medical professional such as the knee pain doctor.