The Coal Mine Workers’ Health Scheme (previously called the Coal Board Medical) includes an assessment of Queensland coal mine workers:
- when they enter the industry
- at least every 5 years while they’re employed in the industry.
Here at Family Doctors Plus, Dr Maria Boulton and Dr Fiona Raciti are both registered to perform these compulsory medical assessments. We work closely with a radiology clinic to achieve fast turnaround times. The scheme is a rapidly changing area of health regulation, and our team stays up to date with all the latest requirements.
Changes following cases of black lung disease
There have been some important updates to coal workers’ medicals in 2018. This follows the diagnosis of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (or black lung disease) in some Queensland miners in 2016, which led to a review of medical screenings.
Here are some of the changes to the medical screening process:
- Employers need to provide more details about the position, the nature of work and possible exposures.
- Workers need to provide more detail about their employment history.
- More details need to be completed in the medical assessment about the chest x-ray and spirometry testing.
- New standards have been introduced for spirometry and chest x-rays.
- New training courses have been developed for doctors undertaking health assessments and for radiologists.
- A register of approved doctors, imaging and spirometry providers who meet required standards has been introduced.
- Dual readings of X-rays by B-readers now provide a more rigorous process for reporting on abnormalities in chest X-rays.
Early detection of black lung dust disease is vital. Although you may not show any symptoms yet, if a medical examination detects early signs of the disease your exposure to harmful dust should be reduced to prevent it from progressing. This is why the screening process is so important.
If you have any questions or need to book an appointment for a coal workers’ medical assessment at Family Doctors Plus, get in touch today.