New funding for silicosis in QLD as rates continue to rise

New funding for silicosis in QLD as rates continue to rise

Queensland continues to lead Australian states in the fight against silicosis with a new $5 million research fund launched to assist in the prevention, detection and treatment of occupational dust lung diseases, including silicosis and mesothelioma.

The announcement comes on the back of the government’s initiative to provide free screening and health checks for life for workers in the state’s mining and quarry industries.

“Every worker should be able to come home safely from work every day to family and friends,” Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said.

“These lung diseases are preventable and have limited treatment options, particularly where a worker has advanced disease.

“That’s why we committed at the election to fund research: to help prevent these diseases, to pick them up earlier in affected workers, and to find more and better effective treatments for affected workers.”

Ms Grace explained that the funding builds on the government’s commitment to protecting the health and safety of the state’s workers, and particularly those working in the engineered stone benchtop and mining industries.

With last year’s lockdowns pushing home improvement projects utilising the stone, the engineered stone industry is of particular concern, and Work Cover Queensland’s latest figures that show as many as one in five stonemasons in the state have silicosis.

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