Liddell, F. D. K. (1973). Brit. J. industr. Med.,30, 1-14. Morbidity of British coal miners in 1961-62. The British coal mining population in 1961 is described, in terms of the 29 084men covered in a 5% sample census, by age, type of employment, coalfield, size of community, degree of mechanization, and other factors. Over a quarter of the men were in jobs not considered specific to coalmining, although nearly half of such men were working underground. The Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance provided records of over 34 000 spells of incapacity due to sickness for these men. Miners were found to suffer much more incapacity for work than men in other employment, even in those non-mining tasks considered to be very arduous. Among miners at the face, elsewhere underground, and on the surface, the lowest paid had the highest rate of incapacity. Incapacity from most causes was also found to vary between coalfields and with size of residential community, and to depend on the men's financial responsibilities, category of pneumoconiosis, and depth of working, but not on the degree of mechanization. A relationship was observed between seam height and the incidence of new spells of beat knee.