Lifesaving Dust Bus

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Queensland’s current small-scale opal and gem miners and former mine and quarry workers can access free lung health checks on Heart of Australia’s state-of-the-art mobile health service during August.  

The service, funded by Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) and delivered through a partnership with Heart of Australia will visit Ipswich, Moranbah, the Gemfields, and Emerald in August.

Executive Director of RSHQ’s Occupational Health division Dean Barr said Heart of Australia’s truck travels throughout Queensland to provide lung health checks for mine and quarry workers who may be at risk of mine dust lung disease.

QATCF 9 Dust 2

“Named HEART 5, being the latest and fifth truck in Heart of Australia’s fleet, provides retired and former workers with a free lung check every five years for life. 

“Since its maiden trip in February 2022, the service has provided free lung health checks to over 600 former workers. 

“The checks include chest X-ray and spirometry, and where required, other follow-up investigations such as high-resolution CT scans.

“On this trip we are also offering small-scale miners in the Gemfields an opportunity to be checked for free, to raise awareness of the risks of mine dust lung disease and help this group of workers, who are often solo or very small operations, to get an early diagnosis if anything is detected.

“While no-one wants to test positive to lung disease, early detection allows miners to access support, manage further exposure and start treatment sooner, which can slow the disease’s progress and maintain quality of life” Mr Barr said. 

Heart of Australia’s Head of Operations Ewan Wylie said the Queensland-made, 56-tonne, 34-wheel road train has travelled more than 59,000 kilometres since it first hit the road.

“We built HEART 5 with support from the Queensland Government and RSHQ, specifically to travel into regional and remote Queensland to provide mine and quarry workers with access to the best respiratory health services available.

“Clients are in the best of hands – our team includes experienced respiratory specialists, radiologists and technicians who utilise highly sensitive on-board equipment to investigate possible abnormalities,” Mr Wylie said.

Heart of Australia’s fleet of mobile services have been improving health outcomes for Queensland’s rural and remote communities since 2014.

HEART 5 August schedule
Ipswich: 3 – 4 August
Moranbah: 7-8 August
The Gemfields: 10-11 August
Emerald: 12 August
Coming soon to Rockhampton too!
How to book a FREE lung health check
Retired or former Queensland mine or quarry workers contact the Mine Dust Health Support Service on 1300 445 715.
Small-scale Queensland opal and gem miners in the Gemfields between 10-11 August book online at 
For other mine and quarry workers still in the industry, speak to your workplace about mandatory lung health checks as part of your employment.
Learn more about lung health checks at Miners’ Health Matters and the HEART 5 truck at Heart of Australia

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