Confirmed NSW case of mixed dust pneumoconiosis

February 03, 2017

The first new confirmed NSW case of mixed dust pneumoconiosis since the 1970s is a stark reminder of the need to ensure the NSW mining industry continues to take all possible steps to protect the health and safety of our mining workforce.
 
As far as the industry is concerned, one case is one too many. The health and safety of our people is our number one priority and our thoughts are with the affected individual at this time.
 
Significant progress has been made over recent decades with regulators, industry and unions working together in NSW to improve prevention, detection, enforcement and education measures related to dust exposure in the industry.
 
NSW has the strictest regulatory regime in Australia for dust exposure, ventilation and monitoring, and comprehensive worker health screening arrangements.
 
There has always been the possibility of an isolated case, however the Regulator, Coal Services, the Mine Safety Advisory Council, mine operators and the CFMEU are all working together to see if existing systems and processes have worked as intended, and if any improvements can be made. A review of a large sample of X-Rays in 2016 identified no systemic issues here in NSW. However constant vigilance is required.
 
Since the re-emergence of cases of pneumoconiosis in Queensland, owners and operators of NSW coal mines have actively supported efforts to review and improve all relevant processes in NSW, and will continue to do so.
 
Contact​: Harry Hughes | hhughes@nswmining.com.au | 0409 758 734 | 02 9274 1419

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