The Australian workplace safety regulator has launched a new awareness campaign for occupational lung disease, which will run until December this year.
Safe Work Australia chief executive officer Michelle Baxter explained that the campaign, called Clean Air Clear Lungs, will aim to raise awareness of the risks 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 campaign, which will run nationally, seeks to educate PCBUs to eliminate and manage the risks of workers developing 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.”
The campaign covers off how to identify and assess workplace hazards, how to manage and control the risks, and key information to assist in monitoring the workplace.
While the campaign is nationwide, there is a focus on the four key industries that are most at risk of occupational lung disease: manufacturing, agriculture, engineering stone workers and those in construction.
Long term exposure to hazardous dust in the workplace puts workers at risk for a range of long-term health conditions, with miners, construction workers, farmers and engineers most at risk.