May 2019
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Health surveillance for Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) exposure

Silicosis is potentially a serious form of occupational lung disease with no cure that has traditionally affected coal mine and quarry workers, but more recently those who work in the engineered stone bench top industry.

Respirable Crystalline Silica RCS is a basic component of soil, sand, granite, and many other minerals. Quartz is the most common form of crystalline silica and it is commonly found in concrete and concrete products such as autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), stone and composite-stone bench tops, fibre-cement sheeting, bricks, blocks, tiles and pavers, bagged materials such as cement, tile adhesive and mortar.

The RCS-generating processes in the construction industry include the use of the power tools (scabblers, grinders, concrete floor polishers, saws, drills) on silica-containing materials, and mixing of concrete, adhesive or mortar using dry-bagged products. There is also a risk when sweeping or using compressed air or blowers on dusts containing silica.

Assessment and measurement of risk along are the most important measures along with modifying work practices and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment.

Where risk is present, health surveillance or health monitoring is required for the potentially exposed staff in order to identify any health indicators early in the process to limit the severity of any health problems.

Unfortunately, until recently, testing performed in the community has not been of a high enough quality to provide effective surveillance. This has been the case with both x-rays and lung function testing.

Injurynet is familiar with the health surveillance requirements in all states and can facilitate the coordination of high quality health surveillance assessments nationally for your organisation. This will ensure that your workplace meets its obligations with OH+S laws and guidelines and, more importantly, protects the health of your workforce.

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May 2019
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Online Pre-Employment Medical Assessments reaching far and wide

A significant proportion of Australia’s workforce is based in regional or rural areas throughout the country. These areas often suffer from a low volume of medical clinics and doctors capable and willing to perform the relevant pre-employment medical assessments required to determine their fitness for employment.

Consequently, candidates applying for job roles in these areas often have to travel long distances to attend their pre-employment assessment, and their appointments can be difficult to arrange within specific requested timeframes. Understandably, this can deter potentially suitable applicants from proceeding with a company’s recruitment process, leading to potential loss of valuable additions to their workforce.

A quality online pre-employment medical assessment enables candidates living in regional or rural areas, where there is often a small number of medical clinics available, to complete their assessments in a simple and timely manner, without needing to travel long distances to attend face-to-face appointments.

Apart from the obvious cost savings, organisations receive more detailed and comprehensive data regarding their candidates’ commonly reported health issues, covering more variables than was previously possible. This augmented reporting capacity is useful in tailoring workplace healthcare programs for their employees and narrow down the number of candidates requiring face-to-face assessments.

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May 2019
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Good evidence of the benefits of Return to Work (RTW) plans

The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine recently published an article titled ‘Concerns About Claiming, Post-Claim Support, and Return to Work Planning: The Workplace's Impact on Return to Work’.

The article highlighted that receiving support and developing RTW plans were significantly associated with greater likelihood of RTW. When controlled for one another in a single model, post-claim support had the strongest association with RTW planning also significantly and positively associated with RTW.

The conclusion drawn was that the provision of both emotional and instrumental support are important employer-led work disability management interventions, and research is required to develop strategies for increasing employer support to lead to improved RTW outcomes for injured workers.

Injurynet's InitialCARE service helps you and your injured workers develop solid RTW Plans with prompt (same day/next day) treatment and capacity advice following a workplace injury.

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Since 1998, Injurynet has delivered innovative workplace medical solutions for medical assessments, injury management, fitness for duty and medical advisory services.

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Level 1, 173 Burke Road,
Glen Iris, Vic 3146

+61 3 9500 9968
1300 307 418

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