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Australia’s largest business network, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed the COAG Health Council’s commitment to address silicosis in Australian workplaces.
Silicosis is a lung disease caused by silica dust, and displays itself by shortness of breath, cough, fever, and cyanosis (bluish skin).
“The Australian Chamber is proud to contribute to all Australians being safe and healthy at work through our membership as an employer representative on Safe Work Australia (SWA), Australia’s peak body on Work Health and Safety (WHS) policy,” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said recently.
“SWA has been taking action to address dust hazards and occupational lung diseases for more than 10 years.”
Earlier this year, SWA’s tripartite committee involving unions, employers and WHS regulators reviewed actions to address silicosis in response to increased concern and reports of more silicosis cases.”
Since then, SWA has:
- Identified occupational lung diseases as a key priority in its 10-year Australian WHS Strategy;
- Begun an analysis into the feasibility of scoping a national registry for occupational lung diseases;
- Conducted exploratory research into dust exposures in stonemasonry, and options to improve data on occupational lung diseases;
- Begun development of additional guidance materials and education;
- Minimising dust exposures in small and medium-sized enterprises;
- Helping employers and workers identify hazards and minimise risks in workplaces; and
- Delivered a series of six virtual seminars on silicosis, in which leading experts share insights on preventing illness and disease, and controlling worker exposures to dust.
“We look forward to working with Government in increasing awareness of this issue and to equip employers and workers to prevent further harmful exposure wherever possible,” Mr Pearson said.
Master Plumbers is an active member of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.