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About the Notifiable Dust Lung Disease Register

Changes to the Public Health Act 2005 (the Act) and the Public Health Regulation 2018 were passed by Queensland Parliament in response to the emergence of occupational dust lung diseases, including coal workers’ pneumoconiosis and silicosis.

The Act and regulation changes provide a legislative framework for Queensland Health to establish a Notifiable Dust Lung Disease Register (NDLD Register), which commenced operations on 1 July 2019.

The NDLD Register allows Queensland Health to monitor and analyse the incidence of notifiable dust lung diseases.

A notifiable dust lung disease is any of the following respiratory diseases when caused by occupational exposure to inorganic dust:

  • cancer (e.g. mesothelioma)
  • chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease, including chronic bronchitis and emphysema
  • pneumoconiosis, including
    • asbestosis
    • coal workers’ pneumoconiosis
    • mixed-dust pneumoconiosis
    • silicosis.

Examples of inorganic dust include dust from silica, coal, asbestos, natural stone, tungsten, cobalt, aluminium and beryllium.

Prescribed medical practitioners from the following specialties are required to notify the NDLD Register if they make a diagnosis of a notifiable dust lung disease:

  • occupational and environmental medicine
  • respiratory and sleep medicine.

Under the Act, a relevant chief executive of the department in which the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act 1999 is administered or the department in which the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 is administered, if requested, must give information which their organisation holds about a notifiable dust lung disease to the NDLD Register. These include the chief executive of Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ) (previously a division of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME)) and the chief executive of the Office of Industrial Relations (OIR) respectively.

Workers, their family members or their general practitioner are not required to notify the NDLD Register of a diagnosis of a notifiable dust lung disease.

Learn more about making a notification to the NDLD Register.

What’s New?

A National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry

The Queensland Health Notifiable Dust Lung Disease Register (NDLD Register) is supporting the recommendations of the final report of the National Dust Disease Taskforce and working with the Commonwealth Department of Health, to develop a National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry (the National Registry).

The NDLD Register is committed to keeping Prescribed medical practitioners (Queensland Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Respiratory and Sleep Medicine specialists) and key stakeholders informed of key milestones in the development of the National Registry and progressing any legislative amendments to the Public Health Act 2005 to ensure Prescribed medical practitioners are not required to notify occupational caused respiratory diseases twice, once to the National Registry and again to the NDLD Register.

It is anticipated that the National Registry will be operational by late 2022 (subject to Commonwealth legislation being in place). For further information about the National Registry visit Department of Health National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry.

Further information

Last updated: 16 May 2022