It’s undeniable that mining is a lucrative industry. But it’s also true that this line of work is risky. This is the reason mine workers health surveillance is a must for entrepreneurs running a mining site.
Why is health surveillance necessary for miners?
Regular checkups are a must for all industries. But consistent health surveillance by a reputable occupational doctor carries a greater weight in the mining industry. Why so? Miners are more exposed to toxic chemicals, such as coal dust, cyanide, nitric acid, and heavy metals (e.g., lead, mercury). This means they have a higher likelihood of getting sick.
Through health surveillance, employers will be able to determine the fitness level of the miners. This could be done during the initial stage of the hiring process, which could also serve as the benchmark for their health. For the next checkups, employers will be able to tell if the miners’ health is declining or not.
What are the important exams they should undergo?
Mining might be risky. But mining operators can actually reduce work-related health hazards and injuries through consistent health checkups. Prevention can be done in many ways. One of the effective ways of which is to have the miners undergo the following exams regularly:
- Blood Pressure Screenings – A study on obesity and high blood pressure in miners shows that presence of carbon monoxide and particulate matter could cause cardiovascular health issues among miners. Add to that the stress due to extreme temperatures and shift work. For employers to know if the miners are still fit, it’s a must to include blood pressure exams in the regular mine workers health surveillance checklist.
- Spirometry – Also known as pulmonary function testing, spirometry is designed to measure how much air a person exhales or inhales. Through spirometry, coal board medical specialists will be able to tell if the person has chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or other respiratory diseases. This test requires a lot of breathing; hence, this is not recommended for people who have recently had a heart attack.
- Chest X-Ray Exam – Whether miners work on the surface or underground, they should also need to undergo a chest x-ray. This is done both as part of the pre-employment process and the on-going mine workers health surveillance program. Ideally, this should be done within 3 years after the initial chest x-ray and every 5 years thereafter.
Prevention can get people a long way, especially for miners who’re exposed to work-related hazards. Despite working in a highly risky industry, miners can still enjoy good health. Regular checkups by a reliable health physician and effective healthcare are they keys to uphold the health and overall wellness of miners.
In Australia, the best thing about miners’ health is the availability of professional support for both entrepreneurs and employees. You can also find companies offering pre-employment and on-going health checkup packages at affordable rates. By partnering with experts, such as Resile, employees can avail of affordable healthcare for miners and create a great environment for work. For more details, check it out at: https://resile.com.au/coal-mine-workers-health-scheme-cmwhs/