HEART5 celebrates two-year anniversary with free lung checks in Cairns
Former and retired Queensland mine and quarry workers in Cairns are being urged to sign up for a free lung check when the mobile health truck 'HEART5' visits this month.
HEART5 is fully equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment to detect mine dust lung diseases like black lung and silicosis.
The truck will be stationed outside the Cairns Convention Centre on Tuesday 27 February for testing.
This trip coincides with the truck's two-year anniversary and the Global Occupational Lung Diseases and Other Illnesses Conference 2024 being held at the Convention Centre from 26-29 February.
The free service is operated by Heart of Australia in partnership with the independent regulator for the mining industry, Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ), and the Queensland Government.
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.
RSHQ's Director of the Health Surveillance Unit Evan Pengelly says 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.
"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," said Mr Pengelly.
"I strongly urge all former Queensland mine and quarry workers to get a free lung check."
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.
Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) is the regulator of safety and health legislation across Queensland’s mining, quarrying, explosives (including fireworks) petroleum and gas industries. RSHQ’s priority is the safety and health of workers and the communities they operate in, with a vision of zero serious harm.
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Last updated: 01 Feb 2024