Coal workers' pneumoconiosis

Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) is one of a range of mine dust lung diseases (MDLD) caused by long-term exposure to mine dust. This guide explains how we are addressing CWP in Queensland.

The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) reports on the number of confirmed cases of MDLD, including CWP.

Implementation progress

Monash review recommendations

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

Of the 18 recommendations made (and 61 sub-recommendations), we have delivered significant achievements, including:

  • 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
  • health checks for retiring and former workers
  • a database of dust monitoring results, published quarterly.

CWP Select Committee recommendations

The Queensland Government is working with key stakeholders to address the 68 recommendations made in the CWP Select Committee’s final report (PDF, 1.2MB). A number of these recommendations focused on structural changes for the regulator, and are being addressed through a dedicated, independent Project Management Office. The Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy will be advised on an alternative option for the regulator and its funding by 30 June 2018.

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.

You can also find out more about the risk of coal mine dust lung disease and the role of the Coal Mine Workers' Health Assessment by ordering our free pocket guide.