Free screening for benchtop workers - Institute for Respiratory Health

Free screening for benchtop workers

Friday, September 11, 2020 | News

A new study will help identify Western Australian workers at risk of Silicosis

The WA Silicosis Screening Program is offering a free screening check for people who have worked with artificial stone, undertaken stone benchtop grinding or cutting.

Silicosis is a preventable and incurable occupational lung disease from exposure to silica dust.  A large number of stone benchtop workers may be at risk since the introduction of artificial stone, which contains a high percentage of silica. 

What we are doing now

In association with WorkSafe WA and Curtin University, we are conducting the first systematic case-finding and screening program of stone benchtop workers in Western Australia.

The Western Australian Silicosis Screening Program will:

  • Give an idea of the prevalence of silicosis in WA stone benchtop workers.
  • Allow each stone benchtop worker to have free, comprehensive, standardised screening with a history, examination, spirometry (breathing test), chest xray and low dose CT scan.
  • Help us to find the most effective screening method for this disease.

This is the first program of its kind in Western Australia. The study will also compare the accuracy of plain chest x-rays with low dose CT scans in detecting this potentially deadly disease. The results of the study could change how doctors screen for work-related lung diseases in Australia and influence workplace safety regulations.

Silicosis can affect anyone who has worked with these stone benchtops. It is really important to find out if there are signs of the disease so we can stop or reduce further exposures and hopefully stop silicosis progressing to cause permanent illness.

The screening program will be vital to identify exposed workers and hopefully change their lives.

Professor Fraser Brims

The screening program is open to anyone who has worked with artificial stone, undertaken stone benchtop cutting or grinding, or those asked by WA WorkSafe to have a free health check. 

Register Now

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For more details please call 1800 512 456 and leave a message with your details and we will contact you.