Free, confidential screenings for coal miners available

Free, confidential screenings for coal miners available Photo: oracast, Pixabay

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is offering a series of free, confidential health screenings to coal miners as part of the Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program (CWSHP). The screenings aim to provide early detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), also known as black lung disease.

The health screenings are provided through NIOSH mobile testing units at convenient community and mine locations. The first week of surveys will begin March 19 through March 23 in coal mining regions throughout Western KY. The following week, March 26 through 30, screenings are offered throughout Mingo, Logan, and Wayne Counties in West Virigina. Additional survey locations include coal mining regions throughout the est of WV, PA, OH, and MD. Twelve weeks of surveys are planned this year.

“If black lung is caught early, steps can be taken to help prevent it from progressing to the most serious forms of the disease,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “The NIOSH surveillance program provides both underground and surface miners with confidential screenings that can enable and motivate action towards reducing their exposure to coal dust.”

Survey announcements are available on the program’s website, Facebook and @NIOSHBreathe Twitter.