Mine rescue medical

Mines rescue operations are physically and psychologically demanding and may involve working conditions that would not normally be considered tolerable.

Toxic atmospheres and poor ventilation encountered in rescue situations require personnel to wear self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for many operations. This, along with heavy physical work such as shifting fallen material and retrieving casualties, significantly increases the risk for heat stress, particularly as heat and humidity underground may already be high.

These conditions require a higher level of personal health and fitness than for normal mining operations. For this reason, the health assessment for mines rescue personnel needs to be more stringent than that for normal mining work (e.g. the Coal Mine Workers' Health Scheme).

When and how often must workers be assessed?

Health assessment for mines rescue personnel must be carried out:

  • every 2 years for persons up to age 40
  • every year for persons aged 40 and over.

How the health assessment works

The health assessment is in 2 parts:

  • Part A is the medical examination conducted on the approved form for the Coal Mine Workers' Health Scheme, but applying more stringent criteria.
  • Part B is the assessment of physical fitness through the VO2 max step test.

The health assessment should only be conducted and signed off by doctors who are experienced appointed medical advisers under the Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulation 2017.

The Guideline for the medical assessment of mines rescue personnel (PDF, 286KB) provides information on medical contraindications and the use of the VO2 max step test.

A copy of the section 4 report is sent to:

Queensland Mines Rescue Service
GPO Box 156

Contact us

For more information, contact the Health Surveillance Unit on (07) 3818 5420 or email HSU@rshq.qld.gov.au.