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New case of Black Lung confirmed in Queensland

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World Coal,

The Queensland Natural Resources and Mine Minister has confirmed another case of black lung in the state bringing the total number of official cases to six.

Dr Anthony Lynham said a 51 year old electrician who had worked underground coal mines was the latest case. The diagnosis was confirmed as coal worker’s pneumoconiosis after a routine pre-employment medical assessment revealed abnormalities.

The affected man is no longer working in the coal industry.

The Queensland coal mining industry has been rocked by a resurgence of the disease, prompting Dr Lynham to announce a five-point action plan to combat the issue.

The five point action plan includes a review to improve the existing screening system, more action on coal mines exceeding regulated limits on dust levels, an improvement to data collection, investigating potential regulatory changes and placing the issue on the agenda for the national council of mining ministers.

Coal mine workers in Queensland are required to undergo a mandatory Coal Mine Workers Health Scheme medical assessment before the start of their employment and then at again at least every five years. Despite this, more cases of the disease are expected to be uncovered as a review of medical and workplace records gets underway.

A review of the Coal Mine Workers Health Scheme has been announced to be headed by Professor Malcom Sim, Director of the Monash Centre Occupational and Environmental Health at Monash University.

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