The detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (or black lung disease) in some Australian miners in 2016 prompted a review of the health monitoring requirements for New South Wales coal workers. As a result, new regulations took effect in July 2018.
Here at Family Doctors Plus, Dr Maria Boulton and Dr Fiona Raciti are both registered to perform these compulsory medical assessments for NSW coal workers. The screening of coal workers is a rapidly changing area of health regulation, and our team stays up to date with all the latest requirements.
What’s changed in NSW coal workers’ screenings?
The new Coal Services Health Monitoring Requirements for Coal Mine Workers Order 43 replaces the previous processes in Order 41, in an effort to give better protection to workers in the NSW coal industry.
Order 43 states that:
- all NSW coal mine workers must have a pre-placement medical when they enter the industry
- some NSW coal mine workers must have a medical every 3 years
- underground and open-cut coal mine workers, and coal workers with a history of dust exposure, must have a chest x-ray every 3 years
- other workers must have a chest x-ray every 6 years.
The new regulations include:
- respiratory fit testing (to check whether the respirator forms an adequate seal around the face and gives enough protection)
- formalised reporting standards
- the completion of an Employer Role Requirement Form by the employer prior to a worker’s medical assessment
- that these assessments can only be carried out by approved medical practitioners
- the introduction of an exit medical assessment, to be offered to all employees retiring or ceasing mining work, to check for any related health problems and take action if necessary.
Watch this video of Dr Fiona Raciti explaining how Family Doctors Plus can provide all the services and arrange all the tests required for the NSW Order 43 medical. To find out more or make an appointment, get in touch with Family Doctors Plus today.