As of 1 September 2020, “senior executives are required to arrange respiratory health surveillance for workers prior to beginning work in the mineral mine and quarry industry and then at least every 5 years” (business.qld.gov.au). The changes to the Mining and Quarry Safety and Health Regulation 2017 ensures that mineral, mine and quarry (MMQ) workers will be required to undergo the same respiratory surveillance as Queensland coal miners.
The amendment is a result in an increase in silicosis among 15,000 workers at quarries and metalliferous mines, where iron ore, copper, tin, nickel, gold, silver and zinc are extracted. Mandatory screening is vital in the prevention of silicosis and other lung diseases. Silica is 20 times more toxic than coal dust, and ensuring workers have access to routine respiratory health checks will be another way to help keep them safe.
Screening of miners’ lungs will occur when they start their careers and at least once every five years after that. All workers will have access to continued health checks after leaving the industry. “The most important resource to come off a mine site every day is a worker,” Dr Lynham (former Mines and Natural Resources Minister) said in a statement. He said that “Queensland now has the toughest mine safety and health laws in the world”.
Lungscreen has a highly specialised team of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) B-reader approved radiologists with accreditation in ILO reporting and diagnosis of lung diseases, including Silicosis. Lungscreen B-readers support the Queensland government in implementing health regulations as the experts in lung disease diagnosis and are an integral part of health surveillance for coal miners. Our role now extends to classify MMQ workers chest X-rays to the ILO Classification and will provide the final ILO report back to you as the referring doctor.
If you need any further information regarding our Occupational Imaging and Screening processes for MMQ Workers, please contact myself on the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Siavash E’shaghi