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Lifechanging free lung checks on offer for Hervey Bay former miners

19 December 2023

The Fraser Coast Sports and Recreation Precinct will be the next stop for a mobile health unit called HEART5, that helps detect mine dust lung diseases, like black lung and silicosis.

HEART5 is fully equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment to provide a thorough assessment that includes a lung function test and chest X-ray, and when required, follow-up tests such as high-resolution CT scans.

In 2023, HEART5 conducted 368 free lung checks on former and retired mine and quarry workers across Queensland.
The 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.

"Mine dust lung diseases can take up to 10 years or more to develop, and even longer to produce noticeable symptoms," said RSHQ's Director of the Health Surveillance Unit Evan Pengelly.

"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.
Since HEART5 began operating in February 2022, it has travelled 80,430 kilometres to provide these important lung checks to regional and remote Queensland.

Upcoming 'HEART 5' dates and locations:

  • Fraser Coast Sports and Recreation Precinct: 15-16 January 2024
  • Cairns, location TBC: 27 February 2024

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

Media contact
Amy McCann
0457 094 250

Last updated: 19 Dec 2023