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Death by Lung Cancer + Respiratory Diseases

on 12 Jun 2015 3:43 PM
Blog Category: Safety Blog, Uncategorized

According to the University of Sydney’s Men’s Health Week booklet, Australian men are more likely to get sick from serious health problems than women, often due to a lack of early intervention and their mortality rate is also much higher.

The working environment plays a critical role in keeping men healthy and safe by providing regular preventative screening of health issues, particularly in the construction and mining industries, which are male dominated.

In such industries, providing preventative care to men is absolutely critical. Occupational-induced lung cancer and respiratory diseases are more present in the mining and construction sectors and therefore it is even more important to screen, prevent and manage as much as possible.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Leading Causes of Death by Gender (2012) shows that there is a significantly increased risk of males dying from lung cancer and respiratory disease, with:
  • trachea and lung cancer affecting 150 males for every 100 females affected, and
  • chronic lower respiratory disease affecting 114 males for every 100 females affected.

So what can employers do to reduce the risk of men getting these diseases?

Well, for the mining and construction industries in particular, a regular lung function test called Spirometry can help detect early issues and, if identified, a safety consultant can make recommendations to manage and reduce the risks.

Spirometry measures how much and how quickly air can be moved into and out of the lungs, and is the mainstay of the screening and management of workers at risk of occupational lung disease. Diseases such as occupational asthma, work aggravated asthma, Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS), fibrosis and asbestosis can be detected early using routine screening spirometry.

Safe Work Australia’s document "Health Monitoring for Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals" (2013) lists spirometry as part of the medical examination that should be undertaken to monitor employee’s health and exposure levels.

Health surveillance is a requirement if your employees are exposed to asbestos and the Isocyanates group of chemicals, which are often used in the hardeners of two pack paints, such as vehicle or cabinet paints. They are also used in making foams.

At JTA we believe that because there is an ongoing, increasing and mostly silent crisis in the health and wellbeing of men, it is even more critical for employer’s to take the initiative and undergo regular onsite health tests for their male staff.

This crisis is due to:
  • a lack of awareness
  • poor health education, and
  • culturally conditioned behaviour patterns in men's work and personal lives.

JTA offers the following services, which help to prevent and detect asbestosis, asthma, lung cancer and disease in the workplace:

Spirometry

Air monitoring

Asbestos Audits


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