Services / Lung Health Testing Services

Coal Dust Exposed Worker Program

SureHire's Coal Dust Exposed Worker Program, evaluates worker health in order to develop a baseline from which to compare future health assessments. This includes identifying workers' previous work and non-work exposure to coal or other dusts, indications of any existing respiratory disease, history of smoking, and chest x-ray and/or lung function tests. Regular monitoring will help detect any changes to lung health that may have occurred.

Different Test Types

SureHire offers both a comprehensive and a basic Coal Dust Exposed Worker Program to monitor the health of your employees:


- Comprehensive Lung Health Medical Monitoring Program Basic Lung Health Medical Monitoring Program
Lung Health Questionnaire x x
Fit to Wear Respirator Questionnaire x None
Spirometry Screen x x
Chest X-Ray x x
Quantitative Mask Fit x x
Pulmonary Specialist Review x x
Employee Results Letter x x
Pulmonary Specialist Assessment If Required If Required
Employer Statistical Report x x

These programs can be further tailored to your company's unique requirements. Contact a SureHire representative to discuss how we can meet your specific needs.

Understanding the Results

These tests and assessments may identify existing respiratory conditions or the development of any new conditions. Some results may require the employee to abstain from further coal mining work in order to prevent further damage from occurring.

Exposure to coal dust can result in a serious disease commonly known as "Black Lung". Black Lung includes Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP), bronchitis, emphysema, and silicosis experienced in association with employment history in coal mines. Since there is no effective treatment for CWP, apart from removing the individual from further exposure, early detection is key in preventing further damage or illness from developing.

Legal Implications

The Canadian Labour Code requires employers to provide medical monitoring for any workers exposed to coal dust. Failure to do so may result in fines, legal action, and further liability if an employee is injured. More information on the Canada Labour Code – Coal Mining Occupational Health and Safety Regulations can be found here.

Booking

Please contact SureHire for more information on the Coal Dust Exposed Worker Program and how it can be tailored to your company's needs. Tests and assessments included in the program can be booked by phone or online.

FAQs

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH COAL DUST EXPOSURE?

Exposure to coal dust can result in Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP), bronchitis, emphysema, and/or silicosis.

WHAT IS COAL WORKERS PNEUMOCONIOSIS (CWP)?

CWP is the inflammation and scarring of the lungs caused by exposure to coal dust. Diagnosis of CWP is usually based on x-ray results.

There are two types of CWP: simple and complicated. Simple CWP often has no symptoms. Coughing and a shortness of breath that worsens as the disease progresses are symptoms that may be present in the later stages of the disease. Complicated CWP is also called Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF) and is associated with significant decreases in lung function and oxygen diffusing capacity.

WHAT ARE THE FACTORS THAT MAY CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF CWP?

Not all workers who are exposed to coal dust will develop CWP. Factors that may affect a worker's likelihood of developing the condition include differences in the effectiveness of lung clearance mechanisms, differences in the auto-immune reaction in the lung tissue, possible genetic susceptibility, and smoking.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR CWP?

There is no effective treatment for CWP apart from eliminating further exposure.

ARE THERE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS WITH RESPECT TO EXPOSURE TO COAL DUST?

Yes. There are regulations under the Canadian Labour Code and some provinces have additional regulations that pertain to required medical monitoring for any workers exposed to coal dust. Canada Labour Code – Coal Mining Occupational Health and Safety Regulations can be found here

Exposure to coal dust can result in a serious disease commonly known as "Black Lung". Black Lung includes Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP), bronchitis, emphysema, and silicosis as a result of working in coal mines.

SureHire's Coal Dust Exposed Worker Program involves a series of tests and assessments to determine a baseline evaluation of your overall health. Regular follow-up assessments can help detect any changes to your lungs that may have occurred. Early detection is key in preventing further damage or illness from developing.

What to Expect

There are a number of questionnaires, tests, and assessments that will be necessary for you to participate in in order to gain a full picture of your overall health. Depending on the version of the Coal Dust Exposed Worker Program that your employer has opted for, these may include:

  • Lung Health Questionnaire
  • Fit-to-Wear Respirator Questionnaire
  • Spirometry Screening (lung function test)
  • Chest X-Ray
  • Quantitative Mask Fit Testing
  • Pulmonary Specialist Review/Assessment

Know Your Rights

The Canadian Labour Code requires your employer to provide medical monitoring for all workers exposed to coal dust. Since there is no effective treatment for CWP, the early detection of symptoms is vital for protecting the quality and length of your life.

More information on the Canada Labour Code Coal Mining Occupational Health and Safety Regulations can be found here.

FAQs

WHAT IS COAL DUST?

Coal dust is a mixture that contains more than 50 substances produced during the mining and handling of coal.

Coal is a combustible material made from decayed plant matter that has been compressed by rock formations over a long period of time, and is the most abundant of the fossil fuels. Rank relates to the geological age of the coal. The major types of coals, in order of lowest to highest rank are:

  • Lignite
  • Sub-Bituminous
  • Bituminous (most common)
  • Anthtacite

The most commonly found minerals in coal dust include kaolinite, illite, calcite, pyrite, and quartz (silica). Dust from high rank coals usually contains more silica particles than dust from lower rank coals. Geographically younger coals tends to form fine dust more easily than older coals. Coals found in the Canadian prairies is some of the geographically youngest in the world.

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH COAL DUST EXPOSURE?

Exposure to coal dust can occur during the mining and handling coal during cleaning, blending processes, or in bulk handling and can result in a serious disease commonly known as "black lung". This disease was first recognized as a disease of British coal miners in the mid-17th century. Black lung includes CWP, bronchitis, emphysema, and silicosis in association with a history of employment in coal mines.

WHAT IS COAL WORKERS PNEUMOCONIOSIS (CWP)?

CWP is the inflammation and scarring of the lungs caused by exposure to coal dust. Diagnosis of CWP is usually based on x-ray results.

There are two types of CWP: simple and complicated. Simple CWP often has no symptoms. Coughing and a shortness of breath that worsens as the disease progresses are symptoms that may be present in the later stages of the disease. Complicated CWP is also called Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF) and is associated with significant decreases in lung function and oxygen diffusing capacity.

WHAT ARE THE FACTORS THAT MAY CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF CWP?

Not all workers who are exposed to coal dust will develop CWP. Factors that may affect someone's likelihood of developing the condition include differences in the effectiveness of lung clearance mechanisms, differences in the auto-immune reaction in the lung tissue, possible genetic susceptibility, and smoking.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR CWP?

There is no effective treatment for CWP apart from eliminating further exposure.

ARE THERE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS WITH RESPECT TO EXPOSURE TO COAL DUST?

Yes. There are regulations under the Canadian Labour Code and some provinces have additional regulations that pertain to required medical monitoring for any workers exposed to coal dust. Canada Labour Code – Coal Mining Occupational Health and Safety Regulations can be found here

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