Standards and resources for health assessments
In response to the identification of coal workers' pneumoconiosis, a number of standards have been introduced to improve the quality and consistency of health screening for coal mine workers. We have also developed some resources to help employers complete the health assessment form.
Clinical pathways guideline
The Mine dust lung disease clinical pathways guideline (PDF, 789KB) documents the recommended process for follow-up investigation of mine and quarry workers with abnormal screening results on respiratory examinations.
In November 2023, Resources Safety and Health Queensland released the updated Standards for acquiring digital chest radiography images for medical surveillance of Queensland mine and quarry workers (chest X-ray standards) (PDF, 38KB). Changes include:
- inclusion of respiratory health surveillance for mineral mine and quarry workers under the Mining and Quarrying Safety and Health Regulation 2017
- requirement to use digital radiography (DR) imaging equipment
- removal of information that is only relevant to computed radiography imaging equipment and not for DR imaging equipment
- additional information on common image quality issues, including example chest X-ray images.
The updated chest X-ray standards apply to all chest X-ray images acquired for mine and quarry workers from 1 January 2024.
Earlier version of X-ray standards
- 2017 X-ray standards: Standards for acquiring digital chest radiography images for medical surveillance of Queensland coal mine workers (PDF, 1.8MB)
TSANZ standards for spirometry
On 31 March 2022, the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ), in partnership with Resources Safety & Health Queensland (RSHQ), released the 2022 Standards for the delivery of spirometry for resource sector workers (PDF, 1MB) and the Standards for spirometry training courses companion document (PDF, 374KB) (2022 Standards).
From 1 March 2023, all spirometry for Queensland mine and quarry workers and spirometry training must be conducted in accordance with the 2022 Standards.
The 2022 Standards
- align with updates to the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and European Respiratory Society (ERS) Standards 2019 (PDF, 927KB) and ERS and ATS guidelines for interpretation (PDF, 1.9MB)
- address the outcomes of the clinical spirometry audit undertaken by TSANZ and the accreditation program previously undertaken by Quality Innovation Performance Limited
- align with the Mine dust lung disease clinical pathways guideline (PDF, 789KB) by removing the separate 'Algorithm for Interpretation of Spirometry in Coal Workers' in the previous version of the standards
- address feedback received by RSHQ during consultation on the draft revised standards
- have also been updated to note their application to resource sector workers generally, aligning with legislative changes relating to respiratory health surveillance in the mineral mining and quarrying industry.
2022 TSANZ standards
- 2022 Standards for the delivery of spirometry for resource sector workers (PDF,1MB)
- 2022 Standards for spirometry training courses companion document (PDF, 374KB)
2017 TSANZ standards
- TSANZ Standards for the delivery of spirometry for coal mine workers (PDF, 567KB)
- TSANZ Standards for spirometry training courses (PDF, 280KB)
Similar exposure groups (SEGs)
Similar exposure groups (SEGs) are used to identify groups of workers who have the same general exposure to risks.
The SEG information sheet (PDF, 111KB) has guidance on establishing site-specific SEGs, as well as SEG listings you can use for reporting personal respirable dust monitoring data.
Position list for coal mine workers
Coal mine workers' position titles need to be provided by employers when completing the Employer section of the approved health assessment form.
The Standardised coal mine worker position list (PDF, 380KB) has a list of position titles and categories, as well as guidance on how to classify a position.
Read about the Queensland Government's response to mine dust lung disease.