The re-identification of coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP) in the coal mining industry prompted CS Health to undertake a review of the NSW health surveillance scheme for coal workers (Order 41) to ensure that it had none of the systemic issues identified in the Queensland system that led to a failure to identify cases of CWP in workers.
The reviews compared the content of the Order 41 medicals against what would be considered best practice in the health surveillance setting to manage issues such as dust-related disease and other occupational health risks.
A number of recommendations were made and have been, or are currently being, implemented. This follows industry consultation regarding changes to the medical content of Order 41 that was completed earlier this year.
The proposed changes were based on advice from a range of professional bodies and included:
The following changes have been, or are currently being, implemented:
Coal Services and the Queensland Department meet on a regular basis in regard to CWP and any developments that may impact on the NSW health surveillance program. Dr David Meredith (Senior Medical Officer, CS Health) is also a member of the Dust Collaborative Working Group advising the Queensland Department of health matters.