As a major provider of services to the coal industry in Queensland, CPA Group monitors changes in the regulatory environment to ensure our services are compliant and also to advise our clients as these changes may affect them.

A recent announcement from the QLD Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy advised proposed amendments to the Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulation 2017.

The proposed changes came after a review of the respiratory component of the Coal Mine Workers’ Health Scheme.

Some changes are already in effect (from July 2018) and include the addition of health surveillance as a purpose of the Scheme, enabling health surveillance and increasing the minimum frequency of chest X-ray and spirometry examinations to at least once every 5 years for aboveground workers.

There are further changes which commence in March 2019 which include a right to a respiratory health assessment for retired and former workers under the Scheme, a mandatory ‘approved provider’ framework – from this date all providers who undertake specific assessments and examinations must be approved by the department; as a result there will be a replacement of the term ‘Nominated Medical Adviser’ (NMA) with ‘Appointed Medical Adviser’ (AMA).

CPA Group’s Medical Director, Dr Scott Wilkinson, himself a registered NMA commented:

“For our clients, CPA Group are just keeping them informed of changes in the legislation.

For CPA Group, our own doctors and the doctors we refer to will need to be approved by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy in order to be able to carry out health assessments from 1 March 2019. “