Education, Environmental News

How Queensland quarry workers can access free lung checks

Former Queensland quarry workers can access a free lung check as part of the mobile health truck HEART5 initiative.  

HEART5 is fully equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment to detect mine dust lung diseases like black lung and silicosis. 

“We know that prevention is the best defence, however, identifying the disease in its early stages can prevent it from progressing to a point where it seriously impacts your quality of life,” RSHQ’s Director of the Health Surveillance Unit Evan Pengelly said. 

The truck will be stationed outside the Cairns Convention Centre on Tuesday 27 February for testing. Since HEART5 began operating in February 2022, it has travelled over 80,000 kilometres and administered more than 870 free lung checks, to provide this important service across regional Queensland. 

Applicants must no longer work in the industry, and have at least 3 years’ experience in coal mines, mineral mines, or quarries.

Former workers are entitled to one free check at least every five years, which are also available at local RSHQ-approved doctors. 

Bookings are essential and can be made through the Mine Dust Health Support Service by emailing or calling 1300 445 715. 

Pengelly said the tests are important because mine dust lung diseases can take up to 10 years or more to develop, and even longer to produce noticeable symptoms.

“I strongly urge all former Queensland mine and quarry workers to get a free lung check.” 

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