THE NSW government is urging current and former coal mine workers to get their lungs checked regularly, after releasing the findings of its investigation into a worker diagnosed with a mixed dust disease in 2017.
The findings revealed that workers at the now defunct Dartbrook Colliery, near Muswellbrook, were exposed to unsafe dust levels more than 200 times in seven years.
The coal miner at the centre of the investigation, known at Worker Y, was diagnosed with coal workers' pneumoconiosis or "black lung" in December 2017.
The potentially fatal condition was believed to have been eradicated from the Australian coal industry, but two cases have been detected in NSW since 2017 and more than 15 in Queensland since 2015.
NSW Resources Regulator's chief compliance officer Anthony Keon said the investigation showed Worker Y was historically exposed to dusty underground environments at a number of coal mines over a long period of time.
"Worker Y's medical condition can't be attributed to specific exposure or specific sites, and no enforcement action can be taken in this case," he said.
"But it underlines both the need for all current and former coal mine workers to get regular checks and the importance of the stringent regime we now have in place here in NSW.
"Coal mine workers receive periodic health surveillance every three years. Medical assessments are also undertaken for all coal mine workers prior to commencing employment and assessments are offered to workers when they leave the industry."
Current and former coal mine workers can contact Coal Services Health on 6571 9900 to arrange a medical.