Minister for Mines and Natural Resources Dr Anthony Lynham has decided to conduct a review into the system of health screening of mine workers in Queensland to establish if improvements need to be made.
The decision has been welcomed by Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche.
“I’m pleased that the minister has decided to bring in experts from Monash University to have a good look at our system and make sure that it’s working as well as it should be,” Mr Roche said.
“We want to know that the system which screens workers when they join the industry and at least every five years thereafter, is protecting the health of mine workers.
“I understand the genuine health concerns of mine workers who obviously need to have confidence in the compliance with levels of coal dust being emitted in mines and in screening and medical checks.”
Mr Roche said it is important to know if there are any problems with the medical interpretation of x-rays or if there is non-compliance in mines and any doubts or problems need to be addressed or removed quickly and decisively.
“Queensland has a rigorous and transparent system of compliance with coal dust monitoring levels,” he said.
“But if there is non-compliance around dust levels at our mines then it’s appropriate that the Mines Inspectorate act and enforce the regulations. It’s just as important that mines themselves act as quickly as possible to lift their compliance to the standards that have been set.”