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Spirometry

Who is exposed to silica dust?

The Cancer Council says approximately 587,000 Australian workers were exposed to silica dust while on the job in 2011. Of these, 5,758 are estimated to develop lung cancer in the future as a result of that exposure. Silica dust is harmful when inhaled into your lungs. As it is 100 times smaller than a grain of sand,…

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The emerging silicosis crisis

What is silicosis? Silicosis is a group of work-related lung diseases caused by exposure to silica dust. Silica is contained in construction materials such as concrete, bricks, tiles, sandstone and granite. When those materials are drilled, cut or crushed, tiny particles of silica are released into the air. These particles can be so fine you may not know…

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Silica dust – lung function testing

“Silica dust is the new asbestos” and “silica dust is more dangerous than coalmine dust”. This is what has been recently reported in the Australasian Mine Safety Journal, where they reveal the increasing number of Australian tradies who are being struck down by silicosis. Silicosis is lung fibrosis – an irreversible scarring and stiffening of…

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Chemical exposure standards – Safe Work Australia survey

A survey regarding workplace chemical exposure standards is being conducted by Safe Work Australia. The current list of 644 workplace exposure standards is intended to protect Australian workers from potentially harmful levels of airborne chemicals and substances. Safe Work Australia currently is exploring options to revise and update the list. It has engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia (PwC) to assist…

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Spray painter health checks – Perth

For all WA automotive body repair employers and paint and panel workshops, there is a WorkSafe WA responsibility to initiate a Health Surveillance program to minimise the risk of permanent health damage to their spray painters from exposure to chemicals known as isocyanates. This is often known as spray painter health checks or spray painter…

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Mine site hearing testing WA

Audiometric testing for WA mine sites WHP provide mine site hearing testing services, including WorkCover baseline and air conduction hearing tests, for many mining operations around WA. As noted in the DMIRS Management of Noise in WA Mining Operations guideline, it is important to “establish a program for workers exposed to noise levels above the action…

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Legionella bacteria – reduce growth risk

To reduce the risk of growth of bacteria such as Legionella, legislation requires that hot water storage systems should be maintained at a temperature of at least 60° Celsius. However to avoid scalds, the hot water should be delivered to taps and showers at a temperature of no more than 50° Celsius. Childcare centres, schools,…

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Spray Painter Health Assessments

Isocyanates…dangerous chemicals in car paints Paints, varnishes and epoxy solvents now often contain a family of highly reactive chemicals known as Isocyanates. These types of paints are commonly used in the automobile repair industry and require diligent use of personal protective equipment and safe working practices to ensure spray painters minimise the risk of permanent…

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Diesel Particulate Matter

The Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists has just updated their Position Paper on Diesel Particulate Matter. This is certainly worth reading if exposure to diesel exhaust fumes is a factor you need to monitor and control in your workplace.

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