The air you, your workers and others breathe at work can be hazardous and cause damage to your health, with work processes sometimes releasing invisible dusts, gases, fumes, vapours, mists and micro-organisms into the air.
That’s why it’s important to understand the hazards at your workplace. Whether it’s a construction site, a factory, on a farm, or if you work with engineered stone, your workers may be at risk of developing an occupational lung disease.
Occupational lung diseases are conditions of the respiratory system caused by workplace exposure to hazardous chemicals and dusts. The Clean Air. Clear Lungs. campaign run by Safe Work Australia is raising awareness of occupational lung diseases.
It’s a national campaign that also seeks to educate and inform Australian employers and PCBUs on how to manage lung disease risks in the workplace.
The campaign includes information on how to identify and assess hazards, how to manage and control risks and how to monitor your workplace. Four key industries most at risk of occupational lung diseases are targeted:
- Manufacturing workers can be exposed to hazards in the air that are invisible to the naked eye, such as fumes and dust.
- Construction workers can be exposed to hazards like dust from concrete and fumes from welding.
- Engineered stone workers can be exposed to silica dust in all parts of their work process—from preparing and working on the slab, to cleaning up the workplace and disposing of waste.
- Agricultural workers can be exposed to a range of hazards in the air, such as pesticides, chemicals, and fuels.
The Clean Air. Clear Lungs. campaign kit has a range of resources, including information sheets, social media tiles, infographics and posters for organisations and individuals to use to help spread awareness of occupational lung diseases.