Queensland workers, including coal workers and stonemasons, will have better workplace health and safety protections, after recent changes implemented by the state Government to the Public Health Act 2005 and Public Health Regulation 2018.

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said pneumoconiosis, silicosis and other occupational dust diseases would now be recorded on the Queensland Health Notifiable Dust Lung Disease Register.

Under the new changes, doctors who are specialists in occupational and respiratory medicine are required to report cases of occupational dust lung diseases to the Queensland Health Notifiable Dust Lung Disease Register from 1 July 2019.

“We are now able to monitor dust lung disease like silicosis and pneumoconiosis and identify any emerging workplace health issues.”

“The register also will allow us to capture incidences of other dust lung diseases from working environments where workers are exposed to inorganic dust.” says Dr Lynham.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said all current and former mine workers and stonemasons were encouraged to undertake a health screening.

“If you have been affected by exposure to dust during your work, please get yourself checked out,” Mr Miles said.

“Early detection of some dust-lung conditions may make the difference between life and death for patients.

“Meanwhile, these reforms will ensure we have the best data at our disposal, so we can begin to identify cases of dust-related lung diseases early.”

Workers or family members seeking more information about health screening should call the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland hotline – 1300 362 128.

You can access the full media statement and additional information at http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/7/2/nations-first-dustrelated-disease-register-starting-in-queensland.

Are you aware of the Codes of Practice relevant to your industry? In Queensland, Codes of Practice (or equivalent or higher standards) must be followed by employers, otherwise, enforcement action can be taken by a safety inspector. This is due to changes that came into force from 1 July. Previously, inspectors could only issue improvement notices, or other enforcement action, for breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 or the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.

 

Although this may sound daunting, Codes of Practice are a more practical resource which can help you to achieve the required health and safety standards for your industry, whilst also helping identify and manage hazards and risks.

 

It is possible that more than one Code of Practice could apply to your workplace. For example, many businesses would need to follow the following Codes of Practice (CoP): … keep reading

Last month, a worker on the Gold Coast was struck and subsequently run over by a forklift in the loading bay of an industrial workplace. The worker suffered serious injuries to his leg and shoulder. Investigations are underway as to how the incident occurred and how to prevent a similar incident in the future. Although all workplaces are different and need to be assessed individually, there are some common aspects of working safely around forklifts, we’ve covered just a few of them for you: … keep reading

One of the best things about this time of year, is that it gives us, as business owners and managers an opportunity to reflect on our achievements and opportunities for growth. Taking the time to acknowledge these moments makes creating strategies and setting goals for 2018 much easier! These 20 questions will help you to identify what needs to be a priority.