New case of black lung identified

Another Queensland coal miner has been diagnosed with black lung.

QLD mines minister Anthony Lynhyam announced the finding during a session of parliament last night, confirming that a 55 year old underground miner had been identified as suffering from the affliction.

It is understood the as yet un-named man has worked for nearly three decades in underground mines, predominately in Queensland.

The worker’s condition was diagnosed after an X-ray offered by his employer to all employees late last year when cases began emerging.

This takes the number of confirmed cases to seven.

It comes on the back of a new senate report calling for a national coal dust monitoring group.

The report, released by the senate select committee on health, seeks analysis of dust regulations and asks for workers to be withdrawn from high risk dust areas “without penalty”.

It blames poor regulation in the mining industry for the disease and questions its return, as black lung was believed to have been eradicated in Australia more than 30 years ago.

“This underlines the importance of the five-point action plan I announced in January to help identify and prevent coal workers’ pneumoconiosis,” Lynham said.

“It’s critical that government, industry and unions continue our work together to tackle the re-emergence of this disease.

“I continue to expect full, frank and considered advice from the Coal Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee of union, employer and departmental representatives.”


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