Coal dust reforms on track to combat black lung

Coal dust regulations changes are now a priority for the QLD government. National Resources and Mines Minister Dr. Anthony Lynham launched the movement to protect coal miner’s health as black lung re-emerges.

Lynham told parliament that action on these changes has begun on coal dust which causes coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) or black lung, a lung disease caused by long term inhalation of coal dust.

He said the Coal Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee, made up of union, employer and departmental representatives are working together to combat CWP re-emergence.

“The advisory committee is already working on a number of important actions, including regulatory changes to the dust monitoring system,” he said.

“It will develop minimum training and experience standards for nominated medical advisers.”

Lynham added that he wanted more transparency on dust monitoring, outlining ways this can be achieved.

He said “firm action” was taken on a mine that went over regulated dust limits in March, aiming to bring it back to set limits.

Six cases of CWP have been confirmed in Queensland.

In January Lynham announced a five-point action plan to help determine CWP in miners, which included a review into current screening systems for workers, and improving the collation of information to ensure potential cases are not missed.