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Mining Review 1/11: Dust - Rehabilitation (1948)


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The commentary also doubles as a synopsis, and is therefore reproduced in full:

Dust prevention underground is removing the danger of dust disease. Early X-Ray and diagnosis can check it.

But thousands of miners already have dust disease. They got it during the long years before it was recognised as a disease, and before preventative measures were thought of. Most of them are only slightly or moderately affected, and rehabilitation can equip them to live a full and useful life. The new Act this July will give fairer compensation, and the Coal Board and the union have been discussing other benefits. But these men want work.

A start has been made by building factories where they can do light work. These are leased to employers who will take on a quota of disabled men. They're good workers, and clever with their hands. But only a small proportion of men can find jobs like this. More light industry is needed in the areas where the men live. New ways of absorbing them in mining itself must be devised.

These men are helping in construction at Onllwyn in No.3 pit at Banwen. In Monmouthshire and Glamorgan, 1400 ex-miners are working on the land. Some men are too ill to go into industry, but are able to work at home. And this must be provided. A start has been made. Raw materials are delivered and finished work collected for sale. In this way, a man can help out his compensation and be useful to the community.

Dust disease is the responsibility of the whole nation. We have used the coal that these men lost their health in getting. The most we can do for them will be too little.