Fitness for work in mining: Not a "one size fits all" approach

Parker, Tony W. & Worringham, Charles J. (2004) Fitness for work in mining: Not a "one size fits all" approach. In Queensland Mining Industry Health & Safety Conference, 4-7 August 2004, Townsville, Queensland.


Health promotion programs can help prevent work-related illness or injury. However, in many industries only a very small number of organizations effectively plan, implement, monitor and review risk management processes, and the emphasis has been on injury management rather than prevention. In coal mining, this is exemplified by the lack of accepted strategies to maintain and enhance the fitness levels of miners. A recent survey of a cross-section of OH&S officers working in Queensland and New South Wales mines, nevertheless, indicated that lack of fitness, stamina and skill rank highest, along with work environment factors, as contributors to injury.

There is relatively little evidence on the efficacy and cost effectiveness of existing injury prevention programs. An opportunity exists to develop a more holistic approach to the fitness of miners as a component of the health surveillance program. This begins with the selection of miners following a medical examination supplemented by relevant fitness or work related tests, enabling more targeted strength, aerobic and flexibility programs designed to match the physical demands of mining and maintain or enhance fitness at levels required for injury minimisation.

This presentation uses the workplace health literature and surveys of the mining industry to suggest strategies to implement realistic and more holistic fitness interventions for miners in line with continuing health surveillance and preservation of longer term health.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 1039
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: Mining, fitness, workforce, work, health
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 15 Apr 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:24

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