that plaintiff could perform other duties around the mine which would not require kneeling or working in water. Alternatively, he could be trained for some other occupation.
Plaintiff also was referred by the Disability Determination Section of the State of Pennsylvania to Dr. Rayford Wright, a general practitioner. The report from Dr. Herbert Kunkle to Dr. Rayford Wright dated September 17, 1968 indicates, as a result of ventilation studies, no functional evidence of restrictive or obstructive lung disease. The report of Dr. Michael Nido, a radiologist, to Dr. Wright on September 17, 1968, indicated upon X-ray a normal chest. Dr. Wright, in his report of September 17, 1968, concluded that the X-ray of plaintiff's heart and lungs was normal and ventilation studies demonstrated normal pulmonary function. However, he stated that due to symptoms of pain in the lumbar region of the spine, plaintiff probably would have some difficulty in returning to his previous work in the mines. He also observed moderate hypertensive disease.
The medical records of plaintiff were referred by the Bureau of Disability Insurance to a medical consultant, Dr. Philip Zieve. Dr. Zieve reviewed the records and concluded from the same that no significant medical impairment existed.
It is the conclusion of the Court that the foregoing medical evidence in the administrative record constituted substantial evidence from which the Hearing Examiner could properly conclude that plaintiff suffered from the impairments of mild to moderate essential hypertension, mild to moderate pneumoconiosis, and mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine and both knees. The evidence established, and the Hearing Examiner so found, that plaintiff's impairments were sufficiently severe to preclude him from more than moderate physical exertion and from work involving considerable kneeling, bending, stooping or squatting in a damp, cold atmosphere. The evidence established, and it was also so found by the Hearing Examiner, that plaintiff was precluded from returning to his former work in the coal mines by virtue of his impairments. Thus, plaintiff sustained his initial burden of establishing disability, and the burden of proof shifted to the Secretary to prove that reasonable employment opportunities were available to him. Bujnovsky v. Celebrezze, 343 F.2d 868 (3d Cir. 1965).
Plaintiff testified that he had not looked for any work since August of 1967 when he terminated his employment in the coal mines. Testifying on behalf of the Secretary with regard to the job opportunities available to plaintiff was Eugene E. Hoffman, Director of Educational Vocational Services for Harmarville Rehabilitation Center. Mr. Hoffman testified upon the assumption posed by the Hearing Examiner that plaintiff suffered from mild to moderate pneumoconiosis combined with mild to moderate osteoarthritis affecting his lumbar spine, hips, knees and hands. This assumption was warranted by the evidence before the Hearing Examiner. It was the conclusion of Mr. Hoffman that plaintiff could do light to medium work. This precluded the work which he had done previously in the mines and limited plaintiff essentially to service occupations. It was observed that plaintiff presented a neat appearance and was interesting in conversation. He was observed to have some mechanical aptitude by virtue of his work as a helper in operating a cutting machine. Mr. Hoffman testified to the existence of various jobs in this category within a 100 mile radius of plaintiff's residence, including the jobs of maintenance man's helper, watchman or guard for industrial or commercial property, janitorial service, attendant in a nursery or greenhouse, trimmer in a local plastic plant, and motel or hotel clerk.
It is clear that mere theoretical ability to engage in substantial gainful activity is not enough if no reasonable opportunity for this is available. Hodgson v. Celebrezze, 312 F.2d 260, 264 (3d Cir. 1963); Baker v. Gardner, 362 F.2d 864 (3d Cir. 1966). With respect to a number of the jobs which Mr. Hoffman stated were available to plaintiff within his locality, Mr. Hoffman indicated that he himself had previously placed disabled persons and persons from the same age group as that of plaintiff in those jobs. The evidence presented by Mr. Hoffman was not merely theoretical. It constituted substantial evidence from which the Hearing Examiner could find that reasonable employment opportunities were available to the plaintiff.
With respect to § 223(d)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act, the Court of Appeals for the Third Judicial Circuit has recently said:
"While this Court has stated that this restrictive language imposes a 'very harsh' burden upon applicants for disability benefits, it is clear that we are bound by its wording. Gentile v. Finch, 423 F.2d 244, 248 (3d Cir. 1970)."