Confirmed cases of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis in Queensland have jumped to 11 as four diagnoses were confirmed over the past week.
The spate of new confirmed cases includes the youngest case yet recorded in this recent outbreak: a 39 year old man that worked for a period of 11 years in a number of mines in the Bowen Basin.
Queensland’s mining companies are offering workers new x-rays, as well as offering to re-read existing x-rays, as part of attempts to deal with the outbreak.
“It is expected, as stated earlier this year, that further cases will be identified from this extra activities and as mines respond the focus on coal workers’ pneumoconiosis,” said the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNR).
The state government has implemented a five-point action plant to tackle the emergence of the disease, which is also known as black lung.
According to the DNR, a confirmed case is defined as when “a positive identification of coal worker’s pneumoconiosis has been reported to the Health Surveillance Unit of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines by the coal mine worker’s Nominated Medical Advisor or other medical expert and validated by the department’s occupational physician.
But unions claim that this is currently significantly underestimating the number of cases of black lung with the CFMEU saying it is aware of dozens of cases that are yet to be officially acknowledged.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/05072016/black-lung-tally-hits-11-in-queensland-2016-1070/