Since it was introduced in February 2011, Order 41 has provided a clear set of guidelines for industry in regard to the completion of health assessments, and is widely recognised as a key part of the NSW coal mining health and safety scheme. However, the re-identification of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) led to a review of the Order. The focus of the review was to strengthen the Order to ensure that is consistent with other legislation and that it continues to provide ongoing protection for the health of NSW coal workers.
The Coal Services Board has approved changes to health monitoring requirements for NSW coal mine workers. The new order under the NSW Coal Industry Act 2001 will come into effect on 1 July 2018. It replaces Order 41 and will be known as Order 43.
What are the key differences between Order 41 and Order 43?
Many of the components of the pre-placement and periodic medical assessments remain the same under Order 43, though the following components have been added:
- Increased frequency of chest x-rays: underground coal workers must undergo a chest x-ray every three (3) years; open cut workers involved in the production, processing or maintenance of coal must undergo a chest x-ray every three (3) years; workers with a history of hazardous dust exposure must undergo a chest x-ray every three (3) years. Other workers will undergo a chest x-ray every six (6) years.
- Respiratory FIT testing now forms part of the pre-placement and periodic health surveillance assessments as a proactive step in protecting workers’ health and providing ongoing education in the use of personal protective equipment.
Introduction of an exit medical assessment
In addition to the pre-placement and periodic medical assessments, Order 43 also includes an Exit Medical Assessment.
Who can perform Order 43 medicals?
The new Order sets forth minimum qualifications for health professionals conducting the medical assessment. In the case of the pre-placement medical assessment, an approved medical practitioner must conduct the medical. In the case of the periodic medical assessment, an approved medical practitioner or registered nurse working under their supervision must complete the medical.
For the purposes of Order 43, an ‘approved medical practitioner’ is a doctor who:
- Is registered by the Medical Board of Australia
- Has completed the NSW Coal Industry Medical Induction Program
- Has provided an Annual Calibration Statement to Coal Services
- Has completed a completed a course in spirometry interpretation
- Is listed on the Register of Approved Medical Practitioners that will be published on the Coal Services website
For the purposes of Order 43, a ‘registered nurse’ means a nurse who:
- Is a registered nurse (division 1) registered by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia
- Has completed a course in audiometry
- Has completed a course in spirometry
Jobfit medical practitioners and nurses have completed the accreditation and can perform Order 43 Medicals. To book an Order 43, call 1300 61 61 65 or contact us.
For more information about NSW Coal Mining Order 43, visit the Coal Services website.