Youngest case of Black Lung confirmed

A 39 year old former coal miner has been diagnosed as suffering from Black Lung.

This latest case bring the total number of afflicted miners to 11.

Earlier this week the QLD Department of Natural Resources and Mines diagnosed the former QLD coal miner as suffering from CWP.

The man had worked as a coal miner in the Bowen Basin for only 11 years.

A 62 year old former underground coal miner’s diagnosis of CWP last week took the number of confirmed cases to ten.

Following this new diagnosis, the QLD Government expects more cases to be confirmed in the coming months as it ramps up testing.

“It is expected, as stated earlier this year, that further cases will be identified from this extra activity and as miners respond to the focus on coal workers’ pneumoconiosis,” the QLD DNRM said.

“A confirmed case is where a coal mine worker’s Nominated Medical Advisor or other medical expert reports a positive identification of coal worker’s pneumoconiosis to the Department of Natural Resources and Mines’ Health Surveillance Unit.”

The Queensland Government has made the detection of Black Lung, and the eradication of coal dust afflictions, a priority for the state.

Earlier this year  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.

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.