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Clean Air, Clear Lungs: A campaign for healthier job sites


Safe Work Australia has launched the Clean Air. Clear Lungs. campaign to raise awareness around occupational lung disease in dusty workplaces.

The campaign will run until December 2021 and largely targets those in charge of worksites responsible for workforce health.

Safe Work Australia chief executive officer Michelle Baxter stressed the importance of lung disease awareness.

“Occupational lung disease continues to be a major work health and safety concern in Australia,” Baxter said.

“The Occupational lung diseases in Australia 2006-2019 report highlighted a substantial increase in coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, as well as silicosis from working with engineered stone.”

Baxter said the dangers of dust and chemicals are not always obvious at first and this was why a campaign such as Clean Air. Clear Lungs is so integral to Australia’s workforce.

“Not all hazards in the workplace are visible. Dusts, gases, fumes, or vapours can be invisible to the naked eye but can cause serious lung diseases,” Baxter said.

“It’s incredibly important to know what hazards exist at your workplace and how to eliminate and manage them.”

The campaign includes a kit on the Safe Work website, informing people on the hazards of dirty air and what to do if you think you may be at risk.

For more information visit www.swa.gov.au/clearlungs

Effective from 1 July, 2020, the acceptable Work Exposure Standard (WES) for respirable crystalline silica in nearly all jurisdictions across Australia is the eight-hour time-weighted average (TWA) of 0.05 mg/m3 under the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011. Tasmania is the only jurisdiction to not lower the WES from a TWA of 0.1mg/m3.

An infographic which outlines some key statistics including the prevalence of, exposure to, main types of and compensation claims for occupational lung diseases.
Image: Safe Work Australia

More reading

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Queensland Government starts mandatory lung health checks, silica dust limits

Western Australia updates silica workplace exposure standards


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