Queensland workers, including coal workers and stonemasons, will have better workplace health and safety protections, after recent changes implemented by the state Government to the Public Health Act 2005 and Public Health Regulation 2018.

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said pneumoconiosis, silicosis and other occupational dust diseases would now be recorded on the Queensland Health Notifiable Dust Lung Disease Register.

Under the new changes, doctors who are specialists in occupational and respiratory medicine are required to report cases of occupational dust lung diseases to the Queensland Health Notifiable Dust Lung Disease Register from 1 July 2019.

“We are now able to monitor dust lung disease like silicosis and pneumoconiosis and identify any emerging workplace health issues.”

“The register also will allow us to capture incidences of other dust lung diseases from working environments where workers are exposed to inorganic dust.” says Dr Lynham.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said all current and former mine workers and stonemasons were encouraged to undertake a health screening.

“If you have been affected by exposure to dust during your work, please get yourself checked out,” Mr Miles said.

“Early detection of some dust-lung conditions may make the difference between life and death for patients.

“Meanwhile, these reforms will ensure we have the best data at our disposal, so we can begin to identify cases of dust-related lung diseases early.”

Workers or family members seeking more information about health screening should call the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland hotline – 1300 362 128.

You can access the full media statement and additional information at http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/7/2/nations-first-dustrelated-disease-register-starting-in-queensland.