Crystaline Silica Health Monitoring Medicals for Workers Exposed to Silica Dust

 

Crystalline silica is a hazardous chemical commonly found in aggregates, mortar, concrete and stone. Regular exposure (inhalation) to crystalline silica may lead to the onset of symptoms including respiratory irritation, shortness of breath and asthma. Workers who are frequently exposed to crystalline silica at high levels, may develop acute silicosis (lung fibrosis). Silicosis is a progressive condition that can cause dyspnoea (shortness of breath) and even death.

Safe Work Australia classifies crystalline silica as a hazardous chemical that requires health monitoring of any employees who are exposed to it.

 

Safe Work Australia   Resources Safety and Health Queensland   WorkSafe Western Australia

Safe Work Australia

Safe Work Australia classifies crystalline silica as a hazardous chemical that requires health monitoring of any employees who are exposed to it. Employees working around respirable crystalline silica (RCS) must undergo periodic health monitoring as per Safe Work Australia standards. With respect to Health Monitoring of Crystalline Silica Exposure, the recommended schedule is as follows:

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

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

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

PRE-EMPLOYMENT CRYSTALLINE SILICA MEDICAL

A pre-employment baseline crystalline silica 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 by Appointed Medical Practitioner
  • ILO Chest X-ray

PERIODIC CRYSTALLINE SILICA MEDICAL

A periodic crystalline silica 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 by Appointed Medical Practitioner
  • Chest x-ray (if clinically indicated or if previous chest x-ray was 5 years prior)

POST EMPLOYMENT CRYSTALLINE SILICA MEDICAL

A post employment crystalline silica 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 by Appointed Medical Practitioner
  • Chest x-ray

Resources Safety and Health Queensland (RSHQ)

As on the 1st September 2020, RSHQ made changes to the Mining and Quarrying Safety Regulation, to ensure that mine and quarry workers are provided  with periodic respiratory health surveillance.

The new requirements assist in the early detection of respiratory diseases, including silicosis, by providing consistent and quality respiratory examinations to protect all Queensland miners whether they work in coal, mineral mines or quarries.

The changes require:

  • respiratory health surveillance for workers prior to commencing work in the mineral mine and quarry industry and then at least once every five years (unless the risk is very low);
  • best practice examinations including spirometry and chest X-ray dual-read by qualified radiologists to the international standard;
  • exit respiratory health examinations for workers leaving the industry upon their request; and
  • access to free screening for retired and former workers.

It is important to note that, mineral mine and quarry operators have until 1 September 2022 to transition their systems and processes and ensure that workers have been provided respiratory health surveillance, however it has been recommended that operators within these environments transition to the new standard immediately.

PRE-EMPLOYMENT CRYSTALLINE SILICA MEDICAL

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

  • Respiratory function and past exposure questionnaire
  • Medical Examination with particular focus on the respiratory system conducted by an Examining Medical Officer
  • Spirometry (lung function) test
  • Medical Review and Sign-off by Appointed Medical Advisor
  • ILO Chest X-ray with dual-read by qualified Radiologist

PERIODIC CRYSTALLINE SILICA MEDICAL

A periodic crystalline silica health monitoring medical should be conducted every 5 years and contains the following tests:

  • Respiratory function and past exposure questionnaire
    • Respiratory function and past exposure questionnaire
    • Medical Examination with particular focus on the respiratory system conducted by an Examining Medical Officer
    • Spirometry (lung function) test
    • Medical Review and Sign-off by Appointed Medical Advisor
    • ILO Chest X-ray with dual-read by qualified Radiologist

POST EMPLOYMENT CRYSTALLINE SILICA MEDICAL

A post employment crystalline silica health monitoring medical contains the following tests:

  • Respiratory function and past exposure questionnaire
  • Medical Examination with particular focus on the respiratory system conducted by an Examining Medical Officer
  • Spirometry (lung function) test
  • Medical Review and Sign-off by Appointed Medical Advisor
  • ILO Chest X-ray with dual-read by qualified Radiologist

WorkSafe Western Australia

In 2020, Worksafe Western Australia introduced a state specific legislation with respect to the health surveillance of those workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica dust. Below defines the health monitoring requirements for workers exposed to respirable crystalline silica dust.

PRE-EMPLOYMENT CRYSTALLINE SILICA MEDICAL

A pre-employment baseline crystalline silica health monitoring medical (conducted on Worksafe WA paperwork) containing the following tests:

  • Work and exposure history
  • Respiratory questionnaire and medical history
  • Physical examination
  • An initial Chest X-ray
  • Spirometry (lung function) test
  • Medical Review and Sign-off by Appointed Medical Advisor

PERIODIC CRYSTALLINE SILICA MEDICAL

An annual crystalline silica health monitoring medical (conducted on Worksafe WA paperwork) containing the following tests:

  • Work and exposure history
  • Respiratory questionnaire and medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Chest X-ray (every 2 years)
  • Spirometry (lung function) test
  • Medical Review and Sign-off by Appointed Medical Advisor

Additional Resources

work safe australia crystalline silica medicalsWorksafe Queensland

 

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Safe work australia crystalline silica medicalsSafe Work Australia

 

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Department of Mines WA Crystalline Silica Health AssessmentsDepartment of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

 

Learn More

Worksafe Victoria Rehabilitation ProviderWorkSafe Victoria

 

Learn More

Pricing

ILO Chest X-ray

$175.00 + GST

ILO Chest X-ray conducted in an approved radiology clinic.

Safe Work Australia Standard: RCS Health Monitoring - KINNECT Clinic

$350.00 + GST

Crystaline silica monitoring should occur prior to commencing work, annually and upon termination of employment. Includes: Demographic data, Work history, Medical history, Standardised Respiratory questionnaire, Medical examination with emphasis on the Respiratory system, Spirometry test (Lung function).

Safe Work Australia: RCS Health Monitoring - Affiliate Clinic

$465.00 + GST

Crystaline silica monitoring should occur prior to commencing work, annually and upon termination of employment. Includes: Demographic data, Work history, Medical history, Standardised Respiratory questionnaire, Medical examination with emphasis on the Respiratory system, Spirometry test (Lung function).

RSHQ RCS Health Monitoring - Affiliate Clinic

$500.00 + GST

Resources Health and Safety Queensland compliant Respirable Crystalline Silica Health Monitoring Assessment. Conducted by approved Examining Medical Officer and reviewed and signed off by Appointed Medical Practitioner. Does not include chest x-ray or dual read of image.

Dual Read and Adjudication of ILO Chest X-ray

$200.00 + GST

Dual read of ILO Chest X-ray and adjudication. Conducted by i-Med Radiology. Required for RSHQ RCS Health Monitoring.

WorkSafe Western Australia RCS Health Monitoring - Affiliate Clinic

$465.00 + GST

WorkSafe Western Australia compliant respirable crystalline silica health monitoring assessment.

Our Locations

HS Health Surveillance Services PA Pre-Employment Assessments P Pathology R Radiology IK Injury KINNECT Clinic K KINNECT Clinic QC Queensland Coal Industry / Silica Medicals R Rail Industry Medicals N New South Wales Coal Industry Medicals

      FAQ

      What activities have a high exposure to Crystalline Silica?

      Examples of work activities involving crystalline silica which require special attention when assessing exposure include:

      • excavation, earth moving and drilling plant operations clay and stone processing machine operations
      • paving and surfacing
      • mining and mineral ore treating processes
      • construction labouring activities
      • brick, concrete or stone cutting, especially using dry methods
      • abrasive blasting—blasting agent must not contain >1 per cent crystalline silica foundry casting.

      What experience does KINNECT have with crystalline silica medicals?

      KINNECT holds extensive experience with the evaluation and monitoring of crystalline silica medicals. KINNECT currently coordinates Crystalline Silica Health Monitoring programs for many large multi-national organisations working within the tunnelling, mining & construction industries.

      KINNECT’s Occupational Health Doctors hold membership with Royal College of General Practitioners. They have extensive Occupational Health experience (25 years+) providing Pre-Employments, Hazardous Substance Surveillance, Injury Management and other Occupational Health Services. Their scope includes work 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 Crystalline Silica.

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