Australia launches national registry to fight silicosis

Government looking to 'use targeted early intervention and prevention activities to reduce worker exposure and disease'

Australia launches national registry to fight silicosis

The Australian government has launched a new national registry for silicosis and other occupational respiratory diseases to improve health and safety in workplaces.

Occupational and environmental medicine physicians, as well as respiratory and sleep medicine physicians, will be required to report cases of silicosis to the new National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry.

Reporting other occupational and respiratory diseases is also strongly encouraged with patient consent, but not mandatory, according to the government.

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney said the registry will help Australia fight silicosis and other dust-related diseases.

"We'll be able to identify the industries, occupations, job tasks, and workplaces that are at risk, and use targeted early intervention and prevention activities to reduce worker exposure and disease," Kearney said in a statement.

According to the government, the national registry will not replace existing state or territory registers and advised impacted physicians to consult their local reporting guidelines.

Silicosis in Australia

The new initiative comes as nearly one in four engineered stone workers in the industry prior to 2018 have been diagnosed with silicosis or other silica-dust-related diseases.

Silicosis is an occupational respiratory disease caused by the silica dust that affects the airways, lungs, and blood vessels.

Following a substantial increase of engineered stone workers contracting silicosis, the Commonwealth government has decided to ban engineered stone products starting July.

"The upcoming ban on engineered stone is a significant move in the fight against silicosis and will ensure workers across the state are much safer at work," Head of SafeWork NSW Trent Curtin previously said in a statement.

Recent articles & video

Employee asks for flexible work to care for aging parents

Casual worker claims she should be offered permanent role

WGEA reveals average gender pay gap for Commonwealth public sector

Why are many employers not offering mental health days?

Most Read Articles

Following adverse effects from COVID-19 vaccine, worker awarded workers' comp

'It's a sham': Customer relationship officer challenges redundancy

Lessons for HR: After horrific accident, company rallies around executive's rehabilitation