What is a ‘Coal Board Medical’ ?
The ‘Coal Board Medical’ is the incorrect term for a Coal Mine Workers Health Assessment under the Queensland Coal Mine Workers Health Scheme or the 'Pre-placement Medical Assessment' and 'Periodic Health Surveillance Assessment' under the NSW Coal Industry Act. The term is an historical relic widely used by non-specialist providers and by default it has come in to widely accepted usage.
As Hunter Industrial Medicine is a Specialist Medical Practice staffed by FAFOEM qualified Occupational Physicians and Trainees with strong commitment to ongoing training in occupational medicine, the ‘coal board medical’ will hereafter be referred to by its correct term ‘Coal Mine Workers Health Assessment’ in Queensland and 'Order 41 Medical Assessment' in NSW.
Do you need to have a Queensland Coal Mine Workers Health Assessment or a NSW Order 41 Medical Assessment?
All coal mine workers in QLD must have a Coal Mine Workers Health Assessment completed on the approved form prior to working in an 'at risk' job at a Queensland coal mine and thereafter at least once every 5 years.
If you are working in a NSW coal mine and your job is directly associated with extraction or processing of coal, you will be required to have an Order 41 pre-placement or periodic medical assessment prior to commencing working in a coal mine and then every 3 years.
Do you still have to do a Health Assessment if you already work in a coal mine in another state and you have had a medical in that State?
If you are gong to work in an 'at risk' job in a Queensland coal mine, you will be required to complete the health assessment on the approved form before commencing work in QLD.
If you have had a recent medical examination in another State or for another industry, our Occupational Physicians can review this medical examination to determine if it can be used in order to save you the time and expense of repeating any unnecessary medical testing
Can the doctors at Hunter Industrial Medicine do your QLD Coal Mine Workers Health Assessment or NSW Order 41 Medical Assessment?
All of the Specialist Occupational Physicians and Trainees at Hunter Industrial Medicine are nominated medical advisors (NMA’s) under the Queensland Coal Mine Workers Health Scheme and they are therefore able to do your health assessment in our offices at Maitland in the Hunter Valley NSW or at the various mine sites we attend across Australia.
Our doctors are very experienced in the NSW Coal Industry and can complete all requirements of the NSW Order 41 Pre-placement and periodic medical assessment.
Will you need a chest X-ray?
If you are deemed at risk as a result of exposure to dust or you will be working in a job that exposures you to potentially hazardous levels of dust you may be required to have a chest x ray and this will need to be repeated periodically as determined by your exposure risk. If you have had a chest x-ray completed recently, you may not need to have an additional chest x-ray.
What is a Queensland ‘Interim Coal Board Medical’ ?
As above the correct term for this is an Interim Coal Mine Workers Health Assessment. An increasing number of people seeking work in the Queensland coal mining industry have been advised by employment/training companies, potential employers or colleagues to undergo an interim health assessment before actually obtaining a job with a coal mine.
Our Occupational Physicians can perform a generic Coal Mine Workers Health Assessment and issue an Interim report as well as a Section 1 page for your potential employer to complete. This report will provide you with evidence that you have completed an Interim Coal Mine Workers Health Assessment against a generic "operator" role. When you secure a job, it will be your employer’s responsibility to provide further details regarding your job to the appropriate NMA who will then review your medical status against the risk profile of your new job and issue you, the employer and the relevant government department a completed Section 4 report.
How long does an interim report last?
Unfortunately, there is no defined period. For example, it would not be reasonable for an NMA to base their assessment on an Interim medical document performed over 12 months ago especially if the applicant had significant risk factors for disease. Changes in health can occur in a relatively short time frame. Hunter Industrial Medicine Occupational Physicians are able to advise on a case by case basis with respect to the validity and currency of your interim assessment.
Will I be required to perform a drug and alcohol test?
This depends upon the requirements of the employer. A large number of employers complete their own drug and alcohol testing onsite thus negating the need for one to be completed at the time of your medical. If you are undertaking an Interim assessment, then we do not ordinarily complete one, however if your employer instructs you to complete one, then yes we will. With this information in mind, we do not perform this test unless instructed to by you or your employer as there is an extra charge for the procedure.
What happens if I have a medical condition? Will I pass my medical examination?
This depends upon the stability of the condition, your level of function and the likelihood that your condition will be made worse by your work. Most doctors performing these medical examinations have little if any formal training in occupational medicine. This tends to result in either a 'sign off' philosophy where individuals with minor health problems are declared unfit for work unjustifiably or a 'sign on' philosophy where all individuals are declared fit for work with little regard for the occupational consequences of a serious health condition. Hunter Industrial Medicine distinguishes itself by exclusively employing the services of Occupational Medicine Specialists, Registrars and Occupational health Nurses that are highly trained in the field of Occupational health. If you have a medical condition that requires detailed consideration of the complex interaction between work and health, you should ensure that you consult a FAFOEM (RACP) qualified Occupational Physician a list of which can be found at www.afoem.racp.edu.au