Work processes can release invisible dusts, gases, fumes, vapours, mists and microorganisms into the air.
The air you, your workers and others breathe at work can be hazardous and cause damage to your health. 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 is run by Safe Work Australia to raise awareness of occupational lung diseases. The national campaign seeks to educate persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs), such as employers or small business owners, on how to eliminate or manage the risk of their workers developing an occupational lung disease.
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 including:
- 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.