All About the NSW Order 43 Medical Scheme

NSW Order 43 Medical Scheme

No job is the same. While others are required to report to an office, some are expected to perform a more rigorous task. Other kinds of labour are even riskier, that doing such tasks can affect their health. One example is being a coal mine worker.

The main job of a coal mine worker is to extract coal from surface and underground mines. Coal is hard to reach. Coal mine workers need to dig and remove large portions of earth from the mine just to get into it. Some even employ dynamite and other substances just to make the coal accessible. Furthermore, they use different complex machines that cut, drill, scrape or shovel coal to collect fuel. There are health risks associated with the job, that is why the NSW Order 43 Medical scheme was developed.

What Is the NSW Order 43 Medical Scheme?

The NSW Order 43 Medical is simply a health surveillance scheme for coal mine workers, particularly in the NSW coal industry. This is created and managed by Coal Services. The main priority here is the general health and well-being of the workers.

Under this scheme, coal mine workers need to undergo a pre-placement medical assessment and a periodic medical assessment done every three years. All the tests must be performed by an approved occupational physician Perth practitioner. A registered nurse can also help but with the supervision from the approved medical practitioner only for periodic medical assessments.

Like any other job, a coal mine worker should have his health assessed before being approved to work. However, Order 43 is not like any ordinary pre-employment health check. Although it requires the individual to undergo drug and alcohol testing Brisbane tests, blood pressure checks, and other simple assessments, it has a whole lot of other components that the aspiring worker needs to pass. Some of the tests are:

  • Spirometry and a review of the respiratory system
  • Hearing assessment
  • Vision assessment
  • Full musculoskeletal assessment
  • Cardiovascular risk assessment
  • Neurological examination with particular attention to sensory or balance disorders
  • Respiratory FIT-testing

Similar tests are also included in the periodic medical assessment but with some added components, including:

  • Cholesterol check
  • The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)
  • The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS)
  • The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)
  • Hazard exposure questionnaire
  • Work-related skin disease questionnaire
  • Musculoskeletal questionnaire

An exit medical assessment is also performed for coal mine workers retiring or ceasing work. It contains similar components with the periodic medical assessment, except for the Respiratory FIT-testing. The exit medical assessment is necessary to determine if the worker has developed sickness during his employment and so that medical professionals may recommend a suitable course of action for treatment.

Common Health Risks in the Mining Industry

The mining industry indeed imposes a risk into the lives of its workers. In fact, the mining industry in Australia has the third highest fatality rate in 2018 with an average of nine workers dying annually. To keep the workers safe, the NSW Order 43 Medical system was made. Here are some of the possible health concerns a coal mine worker may experience in the job:

  • Pneumoconiosis or also called ‘miner’s lung’ or ‘black lung’
  • Hearing Damages
  • Slip trips and falls
  • Being hit by machines or other moving objects
  • Whole-body vibration (WBV) syndrome
  • UV radiation risk
  • Melanomas
  • Skin cancer
  • Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
  • Thermal stress
  • Chemical hazards

Where to Get an NSW Order 43 Medical?

When looking for an occupational health clinic, pick the one that offers various employment health assessments, including Order 43. A team of medical professionals deliver only accurate results promptly and efficiently. Visit our site for more info!