Wayne David, Labour MP for Caerphilly, has called on the UK Government to make sure that if a deceased former miner had an industrial disease, it is still listed on his death certificate as contributing to the cause of death, even if that ex-miner also had Covid-19.
Years of coal dust inhalation have left former miners with scarred and damaged lungs, making them vulnerable to coronavirus.
Regulations on the completion of death certificates have been relaxed. But Wayne David is concerned that this may prevent the inclusion of industrial diseases, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which may have been a contributing factor to the death, if a former miner also had Covid-19.
As a result of coal dust inhalation, COPD has caused an average of 130 deaths of ex-coal miners per year over the last decade. This figure only accounts for the number of cases that have been assessed as meeting the criteria for having the industrial disease.
Wayne David said “Many miners have suffered lung disease as a result of their time down the pit. Because of the relaxation of the rules regarding death certificates, there is a real danger that the families of deceased miners will lose the compensation which they are entitled to. I have written to the Health and Social Care Secretary in the UK Government and urged him to ensure that measures are introduced to stop this unintended consequence”.