New Legislation for QLD Coal Miners

As of March 1st, new legislation for ILO chest x-rays have come into effect.

Previously, since July 2016, X-rays had to be sent to US-based B-readers through the University of Illinois in Chicago. This was described as an interim solution, until an Australian-based dual-reading service was established. Lungscreen Australia has now replaced this process, which means that all Queensland coal miners chest X-rays must be now sent to Lungscreen Australia. This is a mandatory requirement of the Coal Mine Workers’ Health Scheme, with amendments recently being made to the Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulations 2017.

All coal mine workers’ chest X-rays must now be examined against the ILO Classification of Radiographs, and must be examined by at least 2 medical experts who have had B-reader accreditation from NIOSH. Lungscreen Australia will provide the final report back to the referring doctor.

This scheme applies to all above-ground and underground QLD coal workers. Medical assessments must be undertaken upon entry to the industry, every 5 years whilst employed in the industry, and can be undertaken upon retirement (on a voluntary basis).

Prior to the examination, employers should advise the candidate or employee that it is mandatory to register to the Lungscreen Portal and obtain a registration number. This number is only required once; then, the individual can complete the online registration. The Lungscreen ID should be provided at the time of booking the medical assessment.

If abnormalities are found in the chest X-ray examination, the examining medical officers required to follow the Coal Mine Workers' Health Scheme Clinical pathways guideline for follow-up investigations and referral to appropriate medical specialists.

Types of providers approved to carry out functions under the Coal Mine Workers’ Health scheme are detailed here.

Workforce Health Assessors (WHA) are an approved provider of spirometry (lung function) tests, medical examinations and health assessments, and comply with the new legislation. To find out more or book an appointment, contact us here or call us on 1300 552 722.