As an owner of a mining company in New South Wales, you should ensure that each of your workers is fit to do their job and protected from the health hazards that come with this line of work. As mandated by the state government, you should carry out a Coal Board medical NSW occupational health physicians facilitate when needed. This is applicable to those seeking employment in your industry and those who are already working for your company.

What Are Coal Board Medicals

Under the NSW coal mining health and safety regulation, Order 43, all coal mining companies are required to conduct health assessments on individuals they are about to employ and then periodically do it thereafter—thus, the Coal Board medicals.

These medicals form part of the government’s health scheme that protects the health and safety of miners through periodic medical assessments, with a focus on preventing them from developing any serious respiratory disease.

Procedures Involved in a Coal Board Medical

A Coal Board medical NSW occupational health physicians conduct usually includes the following procedures.

  • Spirometry
  • Vision test
  • Urinalysis
  • Respiratory test
  • Hearing test
  • Cardiovascular system examination
  • Auditory canal examination
  • Abdominal examination
  • Musculoskeletal system examination
  • X-ray

For the best results, Coal Board medicals are also carried out along with other occupational health and safety procedures, such as mask fit testing, drug and alcohol tests, and asbestos health monitoring.

Who Should Conduct Coal Board Medicals

Coal Board medicals should only be conducted by occupational health physicians or medical advisers who are licensed to perform such assessments. Ideally, they should have the appropriate systems, technologies, and resources to deliver functional-based assessments in a prompt and accurate manner.

To find the best team to facilitate these tests for your company, seek referrals from other companies in your network or get in touch with your local government for recommendations.

How These Medicals Work

Before anything else, you (as the employer) are the one to arrange these assessments. Your appointed medical practitioner or adviser will then conduct the tests using a four-section form provided by the government.

1. Section 1 – This should be completed by the employer to provide information about their company, the physician or adviser conducting the tests, the worker’s role, similar exposure groups (SEGs), and other associated risks in the line of work.

2. Section 2 – This should be completed by the employee to provide personal information, including their previous work and medical history.

3. Section 3 – This should be completed by the medical examiner to present the tests’ findings.   

4. Section 4 – This is where the medical examiner will approve the worker’s fitness for duty. This section could also provide work restrictions and any requirement for further medical assessments.

Once all these sections are completed, the form will then be forwarded to the employer and then submitted to the designated government department.

Importance of Coal Board Medicals

 

As previously stated, these medicals are necessary to ensure all your workers are fit for their respective job. A pre-employment functional assessment Wollongong will help identify the best candidates for your company, while periodic assessments will catch certain health conditions that your workers might have acquired from working at your site.

Health and safety aside, these medicals will also ensure that you are compliant with industry rules and regulations. Moreover, it prevents claims by workers who have acquired sickness or injuries due to negligence on the part of the employer.

When Should These Medicals Be Conducted

Generally speaking, these medicals should be conducted prior to the employment of a worker, periodically (usually every three years), and upon exit.

Before you allow an individual to commence work at your site, they should first complete a pre-placement medical assessment. After that, they will then be scheduled to undertake periodic health assessments. For those who are ceasing work or retiring, they should also be placed under these tests to identify any health condition and create an action plan to manage and treat it, so as to curb its long-term effects on the individual.

Once these medicals are completed, the appointed physician or medical adviser will then prepare the fitness summary reports, which are confidential and protected by legislation, and submit them to the NSW Resources Regulator for record-keeping.

Who Should Pay for These Medicals

As the Order 34 rule stipulates, no person should be permitted to undertake these medicals without authorisation from an existing or intended employer. This means that it will be your responsibility to ensure all people that you hire complete these tests before commencing on their tasks.

So, you should also pay for the pre-placement health assessments and those that will be conducted thereafter. The cost would also include any reasonable travel expenses incurred for any further investigation needed for an assessment’s completion.  

Conclusion

The importance of carrying out a Coal Board medical NSW occupational health physicians offer cannot be stressed enough. Not only does it ensure you have a healthy workforce that is safe from the hazards that might be present in their workplaces, but it also keeps you away from the hefty fines and penalties due to non-compliance. So, if the need arises, seek help from the professionals to complete these assessments.

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