Health control plan

To assist operators to develop a health control plan, the Resources Regulator has developed guidance materials and resources.

Details of our health control plan workshops, including times and location, can be found in the events calendar.

Developing a health control plan

Use our guide, tools and resources to develop a health control plan:

Exposure monitoring

Controlling health risks requires operators to monitor for the existence of health hazards and monitor the exposure of workers to those hazards.

The exposure monitoring video (above) refers to quartz (or silica) being in high proportion in the earth’s crust. This is more accurately stated as “silica is a mineral found in high proportion in the earth’s crust. The most common crystalline form of silica is quartz. Quartz has been associated with a variety of diseases primarily affecting the lung.”

Health monitoring

Some prescribed hazards require health monitoring of exposed workers to be conducted. Health monitoring is conducted by a medical practitioner with experience or training in occupational medicine.

To assist mine operators, a fact sheet [PDF, 64.85 KB] on issues to consider when selecting a health monitoring provider for occupational lung disease has been developed.

Health control plan workshops

All mines, quarries and petroleum sites are required to develop and implement a health control plan. To assist mines with this, the Resources Regulator will be delivering workshops [PDF, 69.04 KB] across NSW.

‘Develop and implement a health control plan’ workshop is targeting sites that are yet to develop and or implement their health control plan. Sites that have already implemented a health control plan or who are looking to bring their health management plan in-line with current legislative requirements, may find the ‘Evaluate and review a health control plan’ workshop of assistance.

The workshop is best suited to those who have responsibility for the implementation of the Health Control Plan.

Health management

Tele-survey report

The Lead health indicator report was produced for the Health Management Advisory Committee to examine lead health indicators. The report details the outcomes from a telephone survey of mines and quarries about actions they are taking to address priority health issues including noise, fatigue, dust, diesel particulate and musculoskeletal disorders. Download copies of the reports:

Health indicator fact sheets

Use our health indicator fact sheets for information on best practice for managing specific health hazards and performance standards. These performance standards can be used to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of your controls.

Report on workers' compensation claims data for lag health indicators

A report examining 10 years of workers' compensation claims data for lag health indicators was produced in 2011 and 2013 for the Health Management Advisory Committee. It examined data on three indicators:

  • manual handling
  • falls from same level
  • noise-induced hearing loss.

Download copies of the reports:

Read more about the Mine Safety Advisory Council.

Guidance materials

Safe Work Australia has a range of guidance materials in relation to health monitoring:

The regulator has developed guidance material in relation to health monitoring:

Airborne contaminants

Airborne contaminants are generated during mining activities and can be a risk to health if not properly managed.

The Resources Regulator has developed the following:

Coal Services also has a range of publications on airborne contaminants including:

Heat stress

Workers who are exposed to heat are at risk of developing heat stress, which can lead to more life-threatening conditions.

Prevention of heat stress is best accomplished through proper planning and preparation and by using common sense. Modifying the workload, re-scheduling work to cooler times of the day, engaging mechanical aids to minimise physical exertion, providing workers with access to drinking water, shaded rest areas and regular breaks will help minimise the risk of heat illness. Heat stress occurs when the body is unable to sufficiently cool itself, can be incapacitating and even fatal.

Heat related illnesses include:

  • Heat stroke - a life-threatening illness in which the body’s internal temperature may rise above 41° C in minutes. Symptoms include dry skin, a rapid, strong pulse, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat-related illness and requires immediate medical attention.
  • Heat exhaustion - an illness that can happen after several days of exposure to high temperatures and not enough fluids. Symptoms include heavy sweating, rapid breathing, and a fast, weak pulse. If not treated, it can turn into heat stroke.
  • Heat cramps - muscle pains or spasms that happen during heavy exercise. Crams occur in the abdomen, arms, or legs.

Heat stress is not the only danger of working during a heatwave, as hot working conditions can cause other health and safety issues. These can include the loss of grip while handling objects due to sweaty hands; mistakes, slips or falls due to heat fatigue or fainting – possibility leading to head injuries; not following proper safe work procedures; and burns suffered from contact with hot surfaces or substances.

Read our report on heat stress and heat stress control plan.

For additional information and guidance material, visit these helpful links:

SafeWork NSW

Department of Health & Human Services, State Government of Victoria, Australia