News

More black lung cases expected in Central Queensland

MORE miners are expected to be diagnosed with the potentially deadly "black lung disease", also known as coal miner's pneumoconiosis.

Professor Malcolm Sim, the expert tasked with assessing the State's black lung screening system, said the review that started last year would go over miners' past x-rays and medical records.

"The real question is what is the extent of that increase?" he said.

The CFMEU's Jason Hill said the mining union feared many more people would be diagnosed.

He said the union had up to 40 names of people concerned they or a family member might have the disease, or had died from it.

"The best treatment for it, from my understanding, is get it diagnosed early and it's sort of controllable," Mr Hill said.

"But once you go to the stage two of it, you're more or less looking at a death sentence."

Mr Hill said he believed mines had been exceeding the mandated coal dust levels for a long time and "the system" had let miners down.

Five miners have already been diagnosed with the disease.

The miners worked at some point in their careers at Oaky Creek, Grasstree or Carborough Downs mines in central Queensland and Ipswich.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said two of the miners spent most of their mining careers in the United Kingdom and the United States.

"Coal inspectors are working closely with all of Queensland's 12 operating underground coal mines, including those with coal dust issues related to longwall mining techniques," he said.

"Eight mines over the past 12 months have been directed to either improve monitoring or bring respirable dust levels back into compliance.

"Of Queensland's 12 operating underground coal mines, only one is exceeding dust limits now."

Dr Lynham and Mr Hill would not identify the mine exceeding the dust limit.

Dr Lynham said it would be inappropriate to name the mine - where workers are currently wearing respirators - because it might now comply with respirable dust levels.

Open-cut miners are also at risk, Prof Sim said.

"It really depends on the level of dust exposure and there are some high risk jobs in that part of the industry as well," he said.

But Queensland Resources Council chief Michael Roche said most open-cut workers worked in air conditioned cabs in trucks and other equipment.

Prof Sim said there was no risk from trains carrying coal.

"This is a disease that comes on after many years of exposure to coal mine dust," he said.

Prof Sim is expected to complete an interim report on his review of the Coal Mine Workers' Health Scheme by the end of March and detailed recommendations by about June.

The Coal Mine Workers' Health Scheme sees miners have chest x-rays when they start work, at least every five years and when they retire.

Dr Lynham said the mines department and Queensland Health were cross-checking their current records.

"But a priority will also be to make sure this continues into the future so no cases are missed," he said.

"This will also be part of Prof Sim's review.

"Our mining safety legislation is in the very early stages of being updated and will include a focus what changes are required to ensure underground coal dust is kept at safe levels."

Dr Lynham has also written to federal resources minister Josh Frydenberg about placing the health issue on the agenda for the national council of mining ministers.

- APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  black lung cfmeu grasstree mine mining



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Insider’s guide to the best rooftop bars

Eleven Rooftop Bar is one to put on your hit list.

SEE the world from a different perspective...

Where to get your hands on the best wings

Try out these bad boys at Buffalo Bar.

IS THERE anything better than a wicked bowl of chicken wings? Nope.

Rocky bar to give blindfolded singles intimate love chance

Instinct to take over as Rocky singles mingle

Investigators view footage of body inside drain

Gladstone police have established a crime scene after a body was found in a stormwater drain on Gladstone Benaraby Rd.

WORKERS have made a shocking discovery in a CQ drain.

Miner gives up high-paying job to own his dream business

FIRED UP: Woodfire 600 owner Brett Milburn loves his new job.

Brett Milburn took a chance and left the mines to chase a dream

Local Partners

$2500 to support coast plan

LIVINGSTONE Shire Council will honour the Queensland Country Women's Association by creating a special commemorative feature area within the Yeppoon Foreshore.


Win a $1000

GROCERY GIFT CARD!
Learn More

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Bouldy Bush Ballad Bash a country treat

GREAT WEEKEND EVENT: Keith Jamieson at the Bouldy Bush Ballad Bash.

Country music festival to feature Jeff Brown

Revving up for Classics next weekend

Classics by the Coast, Bell Park, Emu Park

Engines set to roar at Emu Park family day out next weekend

MOVIE REVIEW: Lock, Stock and one magic sword

This King Arthur is from the streets, but he can still swing a mean Excalibur... sort of

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

Fans weren't too happy with ABC2's coverage of Wednesday night's game.

ABC2 slammed for coverage of soccer exhibition match

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

Rebel Wilson trial: The secret we never could have known

Rebel Wilson outside court

“Most people wouldn’t know it exists,” she said.

Queensland Ballet searching for young Rocky dancers

EN POINTE: Rockhampton's Kenzie Andrews, 10, was chosen as an ambassador for Australian ballet shoe and dancewear company, Bloch

Young ballet dancers invited to audition for QB role

Investor travels 1500km to bid at Rocky auction

McGrath Property Agents Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast Principal Todd Brandon.

Competitive bidding at in-house auction of deceased estate

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!