Coal Board Medical FAQs for employers and workers

25 May 2018 10:17 AMTandem Health
Coal Board Medical FAQs for employers and workers

We recognise that Coal Board Medicals have become increasingly complex for employers and workers alike. We’ve included common Coal Board Medical FAQs below. Our Corporate Medical Services team encounters these questions every day and we hope our answers can assist you.

Notice: The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy implemented significant regulatory changes around the Coal Mine Workers Health Scheme as at march 1 2019.  In view of these changes, Tandem Health Labrador Medical Centre no longer takes new bookings for Queensland Coal Board Medicals.

Applicants with questions regarding pending Coal Board Medicals, please call our team on 5552 1888 for assistance. 

For information about Coal Board Medicals, the Coal Mine Workers Health Scheme, requirements, regulation changes, the approved register of doctors please click here or call the Health Surveillance Unit, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy on 07 38185420. 



Question: What are the basic obligations of the employer and the worker when it comes to Coal Board Medicals?

Employer obligations include:

  • Completing Section 1 of the Health Assessment form and providing it to the examining Doctor prior to the health assessment
  • Arranging and paying for the assessment
  • Ensuring the assessment is carried out or supervised by an NMA appointed under contract.

Worker obligations include:

  • Bringing photo ID to the examination appointment
  • Completing Section 2 of the Health Assessment form including work history details
  • Attend for additional testing as agreed and required (ie chest x-ray).

Question: I want to have my medical ready as it improves my chances of getting a job - Can I have a Coal Board Medical without a company being involved?

Answer: No, unfortunately you must have an employer willing to meet the employer obligations detailed above before you can proceed with a booking. Without an employer (who provides crucial and specific position and work environment details) we are unable to complete the examination or the Section 4 Certificate. Without a Section 4 Certificate, you are unable to work on a Coal Mine. 

Question: My employer has asked me to book my Coal Board Medical and they have requested that I am to pay/cover the cost, is this correct?

Answer: As per the regulation it is the employer’s obligation to arrange and cover the cost of the health assessment. 

Question: The cost of a Coal Board Medical varies so much between providers, how do I know who to choose?

Answer: There is a lot of price differentiation among service providers. It’s important that you are clear on what each provider is delivering for the quoted fee. The key things to check are:

  • Does your fee include a pending Section 4 Certificate while waiting for the two reader chest x-ray process?
  • Does your fee include my final Section 4 Certificate?
  • Does your fee include upload for the two reader process and management / monitoring of the process when that result is returned?
  • Are your Doctors experienced in corporate medicine?
  • Are your spirometry providers trained to the required standard?
  • Are there other hidden costs that are not included in the fee?
  • Are you aware of the new 2018 Coal Board Medical paperwork and will my examination be on these forms?
  • If I have questions throughout the process while waiting for my Section 4 Certificate, is there someone always available to assist me?

If the provider cannot clearly answer the questions above, think about booking elsewhere.

Question: Why is a chest x-ray now required, even if I’m not working underground?

Answer: Both aboveground and underground workers now require a chest x-ray reviewed by a Specialist Radiologist as part of the Coal Board Medical process to ensure early detection of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis. In 2016 the Department of Natural Resources and Mines implemented a two reader process for all Coal Board Medicals with chest x-rays and this process may result in further CT investigation. Information about timing, spacing and requirements of these x-rays can be found in the full Regulation.

Question: I had my medical 6 months ago, why am I still waiting to receive my final Section 4 Certificate?

Answer: Turn-around time for Coal Board Medicals with chest x-rays is currently 12 months due to the compulsory two reader process. This is out of our control as the two reader process is managed by the Department. Tandem Health will endeavor to deliver the completed Coal Board Medical as soon as logistically possible. Workers should be aware that the two reader process involves a Specialist Radiologist from the United States, hence the lengthy completion time. Tandem Health will provide applicants and booking companies with a ‘Pending x-ray Section 4 Certificate’ in the days following the initial examination, valid for a period of 12 months. Once the two reader process is complete the pending Certificate will be replaced by a final Section 4 Certificate.

Question: Is my employer permitted to obtain a copy of my full Coal Board Medical?

Answer: No, employers are only permitted to receive pending Section 4 Certificates, final Section 4 Certificates and copies of other requested tests that do not form part of the Coal Board Medical where written consent from the applicant is receive/provided at the time of examination (Ie - instant drug and alcohol screen results).

Question: I’m so confused about these new changes, who can I contact for further information?

Answer: For further information about Coal Board Medicals please contact the Health Surveillance Unit, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy on 07 38185420.


Click here for information from the QLD Government Website