Work health and safety: Essential information for first-time coal workers in Australia

Health and safety are vital concerns for coal workers in Australia, especially if you’re still a beginner in the industry. Essentially, you should know about the basic rules, best practices, and the importance of occupational risk assessment and control to protect your welfare.

What to know about work health and safety as a coal worker?

Health assessments are done to keep workers fit for duty. you should undergo such procedures so your employer will know that you are in the best condition to do your job. These include fit for work medical assessment and learning the safety protocols against hazardous elements.

As a critical step for coal mining companies, they see to it that they are performing such procedures to ensure your health and safety while at work.

The Australian government doesn’t regulate WHS

Work health and safety regulations that come with Safe Work Australia programme is actually not enforced by the government, but is covered by the laws of the country’s state and territories. Thus, it’s important for you to know about the work health and safety of the area where you belong.

As you will be working for the coal mining industry, be sure to know about these regulations for your welfare.

Medical assessment

Occupational health assessment should be done for every coal worker during recruitment, at scheduled points throughout their employment, and upon retirement. In Melbourne, for example, you should see an occupational physician Melbourne has accredited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and undergo assessments every five years.

Assessments include vital tests, like a chest x-ray and spirometry, which help in early detection of lung disease among coal workers. Pathological, psychological, and drug tests among other examinations are also included to assure that you are fully fit for duty in a particular occupational setting.

A test is also done upon your recruitment to make sure you are well-conditioned for coal mining. When you switch to another employer, you will have another assessment, or your new employer could refer to your previous assessments considering the five-year interval.

Finally, a medical assessment is also done when you retire from your coal mining job to ensure you have not acquired or developed any possible ailments from your work.

Safety control

Aside from making sure workers are fit for duty, work health and safety involves protecting them from potential occupational risks as well. This makes an occupational risk assessment very important for every coal mining company; it ensures their workers are up to speed with standardised safety control for employees.

Risk assessments would also include isolating employees from hazardous elements in the workplace and using protective gear, like respiratory protective equipment (RPE) among others. However, it depends on the hierarchy of safety control in a certain environment, which aims to avoid inducing a false sense of protection among the workers.

Moreover, risk assessments should go hand in hand with medical assessments to optimise health protection for workers. In Brisbane, for example, you should undergo a Coal Board Medical Brisbane has to offer at least once every 5 years, whilst your employer implements proper safety precautions in the workplace.

Take note of these points as you start working in the coal mining industry in Australia. And, remember to see reliable occupational physicians, like those from, for you to know more about the medical tests and occupational risk assessment procedures you have to undergo.