Coal worker lung tests reach top standard

17 May 2017

Queensland coal mine workers will have access to world-class lung function tests as part of the efforts to eradicate coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP).

The Natural Resources and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham today announced new standards for spirometry examinations.

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said it was pleasing to see the Monash reforms rolling out.

“The health and safety of coal industry workers is a top priority and industry has cooperated with government, unions and other stakeholders to ensure the recommendations from the Monash review are implemented,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The spirometry test is a crucial examination to detect early changes in lung function, therefore it is vital the medical specialists who conduct them are accredited and trained to the highest standards.”

The government’s Monash review into CWP identified there were many faults in the previous system and previous advice the department, industry and unions were receiving from many medical specialists simply wasn’t good enough, Mr Macfarlane said.

“Everyone involved wants to right the wrongs of the past and we want to make sure that we detect cases and this is a major step forward to correct what was previously deficient in the assessment of lung function,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The industry is fully cooperating with government to ensure the medical assessment system is improved and industry operates under best practice so that this disease is eradicated.”

Media contacts: Angela Harper or Anthony Donaghy 07 3295 9560