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Asbestos is a naturally occuring mineral, however was once used as extensively in building products, including fibro, flue pipes, drains, gutters and gaskets.  Australia was one of the highest users of asbestos per capita of any country and depsite being phased out during the 1980’s and a ban being enforced as to the importation of asbestos in 2003, it is still estimated that one third of all Australian homes contain a form of Asbestos.

Asbestos has been recognised as a significant health risk should individuals be exposed to fibres released into the air and inhaled.  Unable to clear naturally from the lungs, once inhaled Asbestos fibres can penetrate the smallest of airways, irritating the lung tissue and potentially causing cancer of the lungs (mesothelioma), ovaries and the larynx.

An individuals risk of developing cancer following exposure to Asbestos can vary, being dependent on:

  • the duration the individual was exposed to airborne asbestos fibres
  • the concentration of asbestos fibres inhaled
  • the frequency of Asbestos exposure
  • the latent period since last exposure
  • the age an individual was at time of exposure
  • the type and size of Asbestos fibres inhaled

Fortunately, an indiviudals health can be monitored following direct or indirect exposure to Asbestos, placing an individuals mind at ease and ensuring that the most appropriate management can occur should an adverse health symptom / condition be identified.

Employees working around asbestos must undergo periodic health monitoring as per Safe Work Australia standards.

With respect to Health Monitoring of asbestos exposure, the recommended schedule is as follows:

Pre-Employment: Asbestos Medical completed at pre-employment. All future results will be compared to this to determine any changes in an employees lung function;

Periodic (Annually) : Asbestos Medical to be completed annually while an employee is working in the hazardous environment;

Post Employment: Asbestos Medical to be conducted once an employee finishes working in the hazardous environment.

A pre-employment baseline asbestos health monitoring medical contains the following tests:

  • Respiratory function and past exposure questionnaire
  • Medical Examination with particular focus on the respiratory system
  • Spirometry (lung function) test
  • Medical Review and Sign-off
  • Chest x-ray

A periodic asbestos health monitoring medical should be conducted annually and contains the following tests:

  • Respiratory function and past exposure questionnaire
  • Medical Examination with particular focus on the respiratory system
  • Spirometry (lung function) test
  • Medical Review and Sign-off
  • Chest x-ray (if clinically indicated or if previous chest x-ray was 5 years prior)

A post employment asbestos health monitoring medical should be conducted annually and contains the following tests:

  • Respiratory function and past exposure questionnaire
  • Medical Examination with particular focus on the respiratory system
  • Spirometry (lung function) test
  • Medical Review and Sign-off
  • Chest x-ray (if clinically indicated)

In the event that spirometry test results are outside of the normal range KINNECT would refer for further review. The result would be rated depending on the % predicted values as follows:

  • Mild obstruction = 60-79% (FEV1 or FVC);
  • Moderate obstruction = 41-59% (FEV1 or FVC);
  • Severe = 40% and below (FEV1 or FVC).

The process for employees requiring further review is as follows:

  • Second spirometry reading is taken two weeks after initial reading;
  • If second reading is still abnormal the employee is retested post Bronchodilator inhalation;
  • If test results post Bronchodilator are still abnormal, KINNECT will refer the employee for a Chest X-ray. The Chest X-ray results will be reviewed by our Occupational Physician, who will provide a detailed health surveillance report, including how to appropriately manage the identified risk.

Our Locations

      Legend
      IM Acute Injury Mangement Services HS Health Surveillance Services P Pathology PA Pre-Employment Assessments R Radiology

      Carelever

      Carelever leverages the power of technology to automate or eliminate many of the time consuming administrative tasks associated with the management of Health Surveillance programs.

      Carelever Monitor

      Our cloud based health surveillance software makes managing your health surveillance program a breeze. Using Carelever you are able to:

      • Book a Health Surveillance Assessment for an employee anywhere in Australia
      • Store the health data for each employee
      • Compare the latest results against previous tests or baseline test
      • Identify employees who are showing a change in health and are at increased risk of occupational related injury/illness
      • Notification for the next periodic health surveillance test (e.g. 6 months, 12 months or 2 years)

      FAQs

      KINNECT have 12 conveniently located clinics distributed throughout Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia. In addition, KINNECT have greater than 350 Medical Affiliates nationally and internationally. This allows us to coordinate Asbestos Health Assessments in geographical regions close to where an employee is located.

      Should we not have existing coverage in areas in which you require assessments to be performed, KINNECT will source an Affiliate provider to ensure seamless service provision.

      KINNECT holds extensive experience with the evaluation and monitoring of asbestos medicals. KINNECT currently coordinates asbestos Health Monitoring programs for many large multi-national organisations working within the construction & telecomunications industries.

      KINNECT’s Occupational Health Doctors involved with the review and monitoring of asbestos medicals, hold membership with Royal College of General Practitioners and have extensive Occupational Health experience (25 years+) providing Pre-Employments, Hazardous Substance Surveillance, Injury Management and other Occupational Health Services within the construction industry, transport industry, mining sector, defence and Government.  Our Doctors hold a competency level 4 with respect to the Health Surveillance for all hazardous substances, including Asbestos.

      ILO chest x-rays are required by legislation when performing health surveillance on an worker exposed to asbestos. They are performed by Radiologists accredited with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.  The turnaround time on ILO chest x-rays is 24-48 hours.

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