The NSW Resources Regulator is investigating a new case of dust disease in the state’s coal industry.
The Regulator said an 89-year-old coal worker who spent much of his career in the Southern coalfields in NSW has been diagnosed with mixed dust pneumoconiosis. The man retired in the early 1980s.
The Regulator’s Major Investigation Unit is now investigating the case to determine whether there were breaches of the work health and safety laws and to see if there are any learnings to further strengthen the regulatory framework.
The worker was detected through health surveillance screening, which is provided to all current and retired coal workers, as part of the NSW regulatory framework, said the Resources Regulator’s Chief Compliance Officer, Anthony Keon.
“While the worker has been out of the industry for some 30 years, it demonstrates the need to remain vigilant, so that this insidious disease does not continue to appear into the future,” Mr Keon said.
“The NSW regulatory framework of delivering prevention, detection, enforcement and education strategies are essential to protect workers in the NSW coal industry from harm in the future.
“Controlling dust exposure, monitoring and ongoing health surveillance are vital components of prevention and detection strategies that are in place and strictly enforced.”
Current and former coal workers are encouraged to contact Coal Services Health on (02) 6571 9900 to arrange a medical if they have any concerns about their health or well-being.
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