Institute backs launch of National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry - Institute for Respiratory Health

Institute backs launch of National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 | News

The Institute for Respiratory Health is pleased to support the Australian Government’s recent launch of the first National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry. This groundbreaking initiative aims to enhance occupational health and safety in Australian workplaces by addressing serious occupational respiratory diseases such as silicosis.

“No worker should risk their life simply by going to work,” Ms Melita Markey, Director at the Institute for Respiratory Health said.

“The creation of the national registry is a crucial measure in Australia’s battle against silicosis and other dust-related diseases.

“It’s going to be a lifesaver enabling us to pinpoint high-risk industries, occupation and workplaces, allowing for targeted early intervention and preventive measures to minimise worker exposure and prevent disease.

“What we do need to make sure of is patient privacy and ensuring they are full protected with any ongoing legal proceedings that may arise.”

Silicosis, an incurable disease affecting the airways, lungs and blood vessels, poses a significant risk to workers. Alarmingly, nearly one in four engineered stone workers employed before 2018 have been diagnosed with silicosis or other silica-dust-related diseases. While the number of diagnosed cases is expected to rise, the total number of affected workers in Australia remains unknown.

The registry mandates occupational and environmental medicine physicians, as well as respiratory and sleep medicine physicians, to report cases of silicosis. While reporting other occupational and respiratory diseases is not mandatory, it is strongly encouraged with patient consent.

The national registry complements existing state and territory registers and physicians should consult their local government websites for specific reporting guidelines.

The Institute for Respiratory Health is committed to advancing respiratory health and supporting initiatives that safeguard the wellbeing of workers across Australia.

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