The Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation (Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 (Bill) has passed through Queensland Parliament. The Bill amends the Industrial Relations Act 2016, the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and other instruments.
The Bill is in response to the re-emergence of the “black lung” disease which is linked to exposure to coal dust at a number of Queensland mines.
Policy objectives of the Bill include:
• Introducing a medical examination for retired or former coal workers who are concerned they may have Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP).
• Introducing an additional lump sum compensation entitlement for workers with CWP.
• Ensuring that a worker with CWP who experiences disease progression can “re-open” their claim and access further benefits under the workers’ compensation scheme.
The Act is awaiting assent.