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that no x-ray examinations of the working miners will begin until after

these regulations are published and in all likelihood there will be a

30-day period after publication for approval of plans submitted by the

operators. Thus, it may well be October 1, 1970 before any x-rays are

taken, but the Law stipulates all the working miners (approximately

130,000) shall be x-rayed by June 30, 1971

a 9 month period.

We have

voiced our concern about the unnecessary delay that occurred in each

instance between the time proposals are submitted to the Secretary and

approval is finally given for publication.

The proposed criteria for exposing, developing and reading the

chest x-rays are clearly and carefully set forth.

However, the major

flaw in the plan for examining the miners is the complete lack of con

fidentiality of the x-rays and related records and reports.

The plan

thus far permits the x-rays, or medical reports, or both, to remain in

the hands of physicians employed by the operators or company-oriented

physicians.

In fact, there are some of the larger operators which I

understand are planning to retain in their files a duplicate of the

original film taken by their personnel.

Despite protective measures such as the discriminatory and

civil penalty clauses in Title I, it would probably take months of

hearings and appeals to prove a miner had been discharged because of

non-observance of confidentialtiy.

It should be noted that the major

success of the 1963-64 prevalence study just recently published (Pneu

moconiosis in Appalachian Bituminous Coal Miners) was the fact that

not

a single miner lost his job as a result of participating in that

study.

The records were inviolate.

There was absolute confidenti

ality of records which enabled the Union to assure each miner that

he need have no fear of losing his job as a result of having the x-ray.

The success of the plan was so convincing that exactly the same pro

cedure is being utilized in the National Study of Coal Workers' Pneumo

coniosis currently being conducted jointly by the Public Health Service

and the Bureau of Mines.

We have protested this lack of confidentiality in the proposed plan

at every opportunity.

I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, that regardless of

how good the plan may look on paper, unless there are overt as well as

covert assurances of confidentiality it will be impossible for me to recom

mend that the coal miners participate in the program.

As you know from my

testimony last year, I strongly urged the inclusion of provisions for chest

x-rays to protect the individual miner and to assess the adequacy of the

dust suppression campaign.

I am still of the same opinion but not as pro

posed to date.

The plan will only be as good as the number of men examined. Surely we can devise a system which will enable us in this country to

equal the 90% plus participation of the British coal miners in their

scheme which has been in operation nearly 20 years.

I would now like to turn to Title IV of the Act.

We are favorably

impressed with the speed and clarity with which the Bureau of Disability

Insurance, Social Security Administration, has been proceeding. Their

concern for the individual is a refreshing contrast to the attitudes

usually encounted in state workmen's compensation agencies. However, we

find ourselves in strong opposition to a number of administrative deci

sions.

Our opposition is on record in numerous meetings and correspondence.

First and foremost is the decision to subtract the Pennsylvania

occupational disease award of $100 per month from the black lung disability

benefit.

Mr. Boyle has registered the Union's objection to the Secretary

of HEW, Commissioner Robert M. Ball and many others, but all to no avail.

In fact, as you know, Pennsylvania, on the basis of this ruling, has very

recently passed legislation stopping payment of occupational disease awards

for black lung.

Mr. Boyle has clearly indicated that the SSA decision vio

lates both the intent and the letter of Public Law 91-173.

It is also our opinion that the Bureau of Disability Insurance is

incorrectly deleting non-pulmonary OASDI benefits from black lung disability

benefits.

This permits offsetting the latter with OASDI payments for a

totally different disability such as paraplegia.

This action is taken

despite the fact that these are two different disabilities which, were they

to exist in two separate individuals would be paid in full for each indivi

dual.

The Bureau has published their x-ray criteria for diagnosing black

lung.

To date there has been no indication that they contemplate adopt

ing the x-ray criteria developed by the Public Health Service for the

diagnosis of coal workers' pneumoconiosis in accordance with Title II.

It is our considered opinion that Bureau adoption of the PHS x-ray cri

teria would strengthen both programs and avoid considerable confusion.

On March 9, 1970 a Statement of Cooperation was signed by the Union

and the Social and Rehabilitation Service of HEW. This is the first time

such an agreement has been signed by SRS and an international union.

The

purpose of the Statement is to rehabilitate miners disabled by coal work

ers' pneumoconiosis.

It is acknowledged that few, if any, of these men

can be rehabilitated to the point of going back into the mines.

It is

possible, however, that the provision of certain services and facilities

will make the balance of their lives more meaningful and productive than

usually prevails. The Union, to implement the Statement, has appointed a

Rehabilitation Counselor in every UMWA District office.

In addition this

Counselor assists the membership and widows with black lung disability

benefits.

He also continues with his efforts of many years standing to

secure state workmen's compensation benefits.

The Counselor is, in effect, A final point concerns the general overall effectiveness of the

an ombudsman for the disabled miner.

The Union is anxious to implement

this Statement as rapidly as possible but to date we have only been able

to reach the point of exploratory discussions with SRS.

47-135 O -71 - 15

Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health.

We are deeply concerned

about the apparent laissez-faire attitude of the Department of Health,

Education, and Welfare toward the Bureau and its responsibilities.

There is no other segment of HEW with the experience or competency for

handling the responsibilities delegated to HEW by Public Law 91-173.

Yet there are disquieting rumors and public pronouncements about the

dismemberment of the Bureau and its program.

This would completely

destroy any future hope of any occupational health program remaining

in HEW.

Organized labor would then be forced to seek an occupational

health program elsewhere.

As I indicated two years ago in testifying

before you on S. 2864, I am strongly convinced that HEW is the Federal

agency which should have this responsibility. Congress mandated that

HEW must have the health responsibilities for Public Law 91-173 but

we find continuing evidence beyond our concern for the Act which indi

cates a Departmental lack of understanding of the role of an adequate

occupational health program.

The new Act, which is concerned solely with protecting the health

and safety of the nation's coal miners, should so strengthen the program

and direction of the Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health that it

would soon be required to take similar measures for the protection of

the on-the-job health of all workers.

The Federal Coal Mine Health and

Safety Act of 1969 is the answer to those who through ignorance, apathy,

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