Mine dust lung disease reforms

A range of mine dust lung diseases (MDLD) – including coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) – are caused by long-term exposure to mine dust. This guide explains how we are addressing MDLD in Queensland.

Resources Safety & Health Queensland (RSHQ) reports on the number of confirmed cases of MDLD, including CWP.

The Queensland Government has implemented all recommendations made by the review undertaken by Monash University in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago. Reforms we have implemented include:

  • the provision of worker information to miners, mining companies and other key stakeholders
  • health surveillance and mandatory reporting of diseases
  • new standards for the provision of spirometry and chest X-ray imaging
  • new training courses for doctors undertaking health assessments and radiologists to achieve 'B-reader' qualification
  • the development of clinical pathway guidelines, a requirement of doctor registration for undertaking coal mine worker health assessments
  • a register of approved doctors, imaging and spirometry providers who meet required standards, training, qualifications and experience
  • dual-reading of chest X-rays by 'B-reader' qualified specialists
  • the transition to an electronic record management system to allow for the upload and retrieval of health assessments
  • free health checks for retiring and former workers
  • a database of dust monitoring results, published quarterly.

Significant work is also underway to deliver:

  • funding for the development of real-time dust monitoring technologies that are safe for use in underground coal mines
  • a research project to improve respirable dust monitoring and control in Australian coal mines.

Find out more about the CWP review and inquiries and access their reports.

Visit Miners' Health Matters to find out more about coal mine dust lung diseases and support for affected workers. You can also order copies of our free pocket guides for coal mine workers.