Mobile health unit to screen for dust diseases on Qld mine sites


Monday, 21 February, 2022

Mobile health unit to screen for dust diseases on Qld mine sites

A mobile health unit developed between the Queensland Government and Heart of Australia will help with the early detection of mine dust lung diseases in regional Queensland workers. Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the Queensland-built HEART 5 vehicle is a revolutionary piece of technology that will bring high-quality respiratory health screenings to mine and quarry workers in regional and remote parts of the state.

“This means workers won’t have to travel as far to access highly specialised services, ensuring earlier detection and intervention in cases of mine dust lung diseases like black lung and silicosis,” Minister Stewart said.

Containing an X-ray machine and a battery-powered high-resolution computerised tomography (CT) scanner, the facility will help with the early detection of mine dust lung diseases in regional Queensland workers. Minister Stewart said the HEART 5 was constructed in Narangba to the highest standards, in order to withstand the wear and tear of travelling through rural Queensland. “I’d like to thank Heart of Australia and Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ), who have collaborated magnificently to deliver HEART 5,” Minister Stewart said.

Heart of Australia founder Dr Rolf Gomes said that HEART 5 can carry out a CT while parked on a mine site. “Through the collaboration of the project partners, the Queensland Government, Phillips and I-MED, this technology and innovation has been made possible. HEART 5 breaks down the tyranny of distance, so if you do have a lung disease, we can find it early and quickly,” Dr Gomes said.

Minister Stewart added that the Palaszczuk government’s commitment to the safety of mine and quarry workers’ safety was absolute. “We have implemented the toughest mine safety laws in the world, lowered allowable levels of dust exposure, prescribed requirements for monitoring and reporting, and enhanced health surveillance across the mining sector. We’re proud to have HEART 5 on the road helping to uphold our high standards for health and safety in the resources sector, and our government will continue to support workers, on and off the job site,” Minister Stewart said.

HEART 5 will arrive in coalmining community Collinsville next, to begin vital work screening workers and former workers of mines and quarries. The delivery of the vehicle is part of the government’s response to the recommendations made by the Black Lung, White Lies report.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Tanes

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