An ex-rescue miner is having problems securing compensation for his industrial injury claim because the Government won’t accept he worked underground.
Peter Kenny, 75, became the longest-serving member of North Staffordshire’s mine rescue team after 23-years of service. As a result he now suffers from osteoarthritis of the knee.
The condition affects many ex-miners and is hence known as ‘miner’s knee’. It generally qualifies for government-funded compensation following an announcement earlier in the year from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
However, despite Mr Kenny’s years of work and the sacrifice of his knee, the DWP are refusing his industrial injury claim as they won’t accept the medals he received for service as evidence that he worked underground.
Mr Kenny’s former employers – The Coal Board no longer exist and therefore he was required to provide evidence of his employment with the company to back up his claim. However, the DWP have dismissed the medals which he provided, saying that they could have been awarded for work he carried out on the surface rather than underground.
He said: “It seems the person I was speaking to had no idea what we did. How could I work on a mines rescue team to 23 years and never go underground?”
Mr Kenny is already receiving a pension for nitrous fumes poisoning following a near-fatal accident. In 1986 he was overcome by fumes while checking on underground charges. The DWP have also refused to take this into account when looking at his industrial injury claim.
He is now looking to get former colleagues to vouch for him as evidence of the work he carried out.