The state’s 15,000 mineral mine and quarry workers will receive free lung health checks for life from September 1.
The state’s 15,000 mineral mine and quarry workers will receive free lung health checks for life from September 1.

Free lung health checks for mine, quarry workers

QUEENSLAND’S 15,000 mineral mine and quarry workers will receive free lung health checks for life from September 1.

Under the changes announced by the State Government, every worker would have a chest X-ray that is read by at least two qualified radiologists as well as a lung function test.

This would occur when they start in the industry and at least once every five years during their career in the industry.

They can continue to have free respiratory health checks for life, if they want to, after they leave the industry.

The measures bring mineral mine and quarry workers in line with their 37,000 coal mining counterparts who already have free mandatory respiratory health screening.

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Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the mandatory checks would protect workers from mine dust lung diseases like silicosis.

“As a doctor I know that hand-in-hand with disease prevention goes early detection, because it helps stop disease progressing,” Dr Lynham said.

“And mandatory screening is critical for early detection.”

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane welcomed the move.

“QRC member companies already pay for the lung health checks of their mine workers and following negotiations with WorkCover and the Government, we have secured free lung health checks for retired workers,” Mr Macfarlane said.

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Any mine workers who may have left the industry can contact the mine dust health support service on 1300 445 715 to also access their free health checks.


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