Campaign highlights the risk of occupational lung disease

Safe Work Australia is highlighting the importance of clean air in the workplace as part of this year’s National Safe Work Month.

Many industries are at high risk of occupational lung disease including construction, manufacturing, agriculture, mining and those who work with engineered stone.

Occupational lung diseases are conditions of the respiratory system caused by workplace exposure to dusts, gases, fumes and vapours.

This week Safe Work Australia will release a series of information sheets about different occupational lung diseases which include silicosis, asbestosis and mesothelioma, Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis and mine dust diseases, Q fever and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In June, Safe Work Australia has launched an occupational lung disease awareness campaign which will run until December 2021.

Safe Work Australia chief executive officer Michelle Baxter said the Clean Air Clear Lungs campaign will help raise awareness about the risk of occupational lung disease.

“Occupational lung disease continues to be a major work health and safety concern in Australia,” she said.

“The Occupational lung diseases in Australia 2006-2019 report highlighted a substantial increase in coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, as well as silicosis from working with engineered stone.”

The national campaign seeks to educate persons conducting a business on how to eliminate and manage the risks of their workers developing an occupational lung disease.

“Not all hazards in the workplace are visible. Dusts, gases, fumes, or vapours can be invisible to the naked eye but can cause serious lung diseases”, Baxter said.

“It’s incredibly important to know what hazards exist at your workplace and how to eliminate and manage them.”

For more information visit the National Safe Work Month website.

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