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KINNECT are one of the leading Occupational Health Providers who provide Queensland Coal Board Medical assessments. Our team of health professionals, examining medical officers and appointed medical advisors are ready to complete your next Coal Board Medical.
What does a Coal Board Medical involve?
A Coal Board Medical (also known as a Coal Mine Workers Health Assessment) is a standard occupational medical examination required for all coal mine workers currently working in Queensland.
The Coal Board Medical forms are part of the Coal Mine Workers’ Health Scheme; a scheme under The Department of Natural Resources, Mining and Energy – Queensland Government. The Coal Mine Workers’ Health Scheme protects the health and safety of Queensland coal mine workers by ensuring they undergo periodic health assessments, with a focus on respiratory disease prevention.
If you have not had a Coal Board Medical before, you will require both a Coal Board Medical + ILO Chest X-ray.
A standard Coal Board Medical includes:
- Vision test
- Spirometry test
- Respiratory questionnaire
- Hearing test
- Auditory canal examination
- Cardiovascular system examination
- Musculoskeletal system examination
- Abdomen examination
- Skin examination
- Medical history questionnaire
- ILO Chest X-ray (only required if not completed prior or previous x-ray is over 5 years old). KINNECT ensures all chest x-rays are reported on by a clinical radiologist who is experienced in detecting pneumoconiosis.
Please note that a drug and alcohol test is not included, however some mines may require one prior to accessing site. An instant drug and alcohol test can be added to a Coal Board Medical (additional charges apply).
A Coal Board Medical ensures that miners receive an early diagnosis for any lung disease, including pneumoconiosis.
Making a Booking
Once you have made your booking request, we will confirm the location and availability of the candidate for their appointment. A booking will then be made with an accredited medical centre , with the assessment conducted by a DNRME registered Examining Medical Officer (EMO).
Not all medical centers can perform the Coal Board Medical. Due to recent legislative changes by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, only registered Examining Medical Officers (EMO) can perform the coal board medical assessment. Following this assessment, only a registered Appointed Medical Advisor (AMA) can sign off the medical results. Not all EMO’s are AMA’s meaning that you may be assessed by one doctor, but then have your results reviewed and signed off by another doctor.
KINNECT can co-ordinate Coal Board Medicals at the following select locations:
ILO Chest X-ray’s and Lungscreen B-reader
The Coal Mine Workers’ Health Scheme legislation requires that an ILO Chest X-ray be completed every 5 years.
ILO chest x-ray’s follow a similar process to standard chest x-ray’s but the images are subject to different reporting requirements. The ILO standard of reporting was introduced by the International Labour Organisation for international classification of radiographs of Pneumoconiosis. Under legislation, only accredited radiology centres can conduct ILO chest x-rays.
The current Coal Mine Worker’s Health Scheme requires all Queensland coal mine workers’ chest X-rays be assessed against the International Labour Organization (ILO) standard, to ensure early detection of the disease Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP). Following the chest x-ray being completed to ILO standard, the legislation requires that the images undergo a B-read process conducted by NIOSH B-read approved Radiologist. Lungscreen Australia has been appointed by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy to provide this service to Coal Mine Workers across Queensland.
Once the medical has been completed, an Appointed Medical Adviser (AMA) completes a fitness summary report, called a ‘Section 4’. The Section 4 is the only information from the Coal Board Medical that the employer is privy to. The medical information contained within the results is protected by legislation and can only be released if approved by the employee. The medical information is submitted to the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy for record-keeping. The Section 4 can only be completed once the medical and Chest X-ray reports have been returned to the AMA for review.
The section 4 lists the employee’s details along with an outcome of either fit, fit with restrictions or unfit. It is for this reason, we recommend that employers also request a Pre-Employment Medical at the same time of the Coal Board Medical. Whilst the results of the Coal Board Medical remain confidential, you will have full access to the Pre-Employment Medical results.
Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis
Why is it so important?
Pneumoconiosis is a series of diseases caused by the inhalation of organic or inorganic dusts or chemical irritants. Typically, the disease occurs from exposure over a prolonged period of time. The type and severity of the disease depends on the composition of the dust. Small particles such as silica, asbestos and coal are more harmful than other irritants.
Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP), or ‘Black Lung’, is a chronic occupational lung disease caused by long-term inhalation of coal dust. CWP causes inflammation of the alveoli, eventually resulting in irreversible damage to the lungs. Alveoli are tiny sacs within our lungs that allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the lungs and bloodstream. CWP ranges in severity from simple to advanced, with progressive massive fibrosis (PMF) the most severe form. Advanced CWP is debilitating and often fatal.
Who should undertake a Coal Board Medical?
Employers must ensure that Coal Board Medicals are completed on every new employee intended to work at a coal mine. A Coal Board Medical is valid for five years provided the worker remains employed with the same company. If a coal mine worker changes employers, a new Coal Board Medical is required.
Please note that anyone recovering from an injury should not undertake a Coal Board Medical until their condition is stable.
Who is responsible for organising and paying for a Coal Board Medical?
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that each person they employ or intend to employ completes a health assessment. A worker is not able to undertake a health assessment privately without an employer or intended employer. If you are hiring for a position that requires a CMWHS, an applicant is unable to obtain one prior to applying. It is also the employer’s responsibility to pay for the health assessment and any reviews required for completion (e.g. CT scans, respiratory physician assessments). The employer is not responsible to pay for any treatment that may be required after the section 4 has been issued.
The section 4 states my employee is fit with restrictions, what does this mean?
If a health problem is identified in the CMWHS, the Appointed Medical Adviser (AMA) may sign off as fit with restrictions. The restrictions detailed in the Section 4 are designed to minimise the worker’s risk for further injury or illness. If your employee is fit with restrictions, this does not mean they should be precluded from working. It is up to the employer’s discretion on whether they are able to accommodate the worker’s restriction.
How do I know if my employee requires a medical review?
If your employee requires a medical review it will be listed on the section 4 under 4.3 (Fitness for duty). 4.3c/d will provide the due date of the medical review and what is to be assessed. Please note that your employee will have trouble accessing site if the review is not completed by the due date.
How do I organise a medical review for my employee?
Please contact our health surveillance department on 07 3999 9395 if the review date is upcoming. Our health surveillance officers will explain the review process to both yourself and your employee.
Can I use a candidates previous Coal Board Medical with another company?
Unfortunately we are unable to facilitate an employer name change. Every employee must complete a new CMWHS each time they change employers. A previous ILO chest x-ray and B-reader result may be used if it is less than 5 years old.
My employee has completed their CMWHS with another medical provider but I now want KINNECT to take over all future medical reviews, is this possible?
This can be arranged if you are able to provide evidence of the employee’s section 4 listed under your company name. We would also require a release form signed by your employee. You must notify the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) for our AMA’s to manage existing medicals. Only an AMA appointed in writing by your company can complete and sign your employee’s section 4. If you have not appointed KINNECT’s AMA’s, we will ask you to fill out a brief form in order to have this completed. We will submit this form to the DNRME on your behalf. Please note that fees apply for this service.
Please contact our health surveillance department on 07 3999 9395 for assistance with notifying the DNRME and obtaining release forms.
Can you release my employees results to another medical provider?
We can release results to another medical provider as long as the employee has provided written consent. Please contact our health surveillance department on 07 3999 9395 to request a release form. This form will need to be signed by your employee.
Can we update the employer details on an existing Section 4?
The first step in making the employer name change is that of completing a new medical history questionnaire. This questionnaire will provide the AMA with information on the workers current health status, information that is critically important when issuing a new Section 4. Once KINNECT has reviewed the updated medical history questionnaire, and a new Section 1 is received from the employer, KINNECT’s AMA will review the workers previous Coal Mine Workers’ Health Assessment results and make a determination about whether a new Section 4 can be issued.
Who must complete the Section 1?
The Section 1 of the Coal Mine Workers Health Assessment details important information on the employees job role and specific exposure groups. Only the employer can accurately complete this section of the Coal Mine Workers Health Assessment. This information is required prior to the Examining Medical Officer (EMO) being able to conduct the medical assessment.