Thousands of miners suffering from work injuries will be able to claim compensation from the government following an announcement by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Work and pensions secretary James Purnell confirmed on April 15th that osteoarthritis of the knee would be added to the list of work-related diseases for which workers can claim compensation.
Symptoms of the disease include pain, swollen joints and reduced mobility, all of which can impair the sufferers’ ability to earn a wage.
Campaigners had warned that failure by the government to take action would lead to sufferers using personal injury lawyers instead.
"We estimate that thousands of former miners will now be able to benefit from this aid," said Kitty Ussher, parliamentary under secretary for the DWP.
In the past decade the government has paid out over £4 billion in compensation to former miners suffering from respiratory disease and vibration white finger.