Worker Removes Asbestos
IN PHOTO: A worker removes asbestos (amiante) cement from the ceiling in a primary school in Nantes after France announced a ban on asbestos from 1997. A study predicted that some 2000 people would die this year from exposure to the industrial fibre. Reuters

Safe Work Australia has released an updated list of occupational diseases and other work-related exposures, such as Legionnaire’s disease, chronic obstructive lung disease and asthma. The intention of the list published in the Deemed Diseases in Australia report is to provide sufficient and important information to people who are involved with prevention or compensation of occupational diseases.

Although the report published by the Safe Work Australia is only meant for use by jurisdictions, it has been released publicly since it provides useful information for everyone. The information contained in the report is evidence-based and clearly provides a scientific evidence stating what actually qualifies as an occupational disease caused by specific work-related activities.

“Compared to work-related injuries, it is more difficult to prove that a disease was contracted in, or caused by, particular employment. So most Australian jurisdictions have special provisions in their workers’ compensation legislation deeming certain specified occupational diseases as being caused by specified work related activities,” said Safe Work Australia Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Baxter, in a press release.

The list recently revised and released by Safe Work Australia had been in their original form since the time of their enactment. Therefore, many diseases which are now proved to be caused by an exposure to work-related activities were not included in the list.

However, now the list has been thoroughly reviewed by an independent consultant in epidemiology and occupational medicine. The updates have been made based on the available scientific evidences that establishes a causal link between an occupational disease and an exposure to a work-related activity.

The recently-updated Deemed Diseases in Australia is available for public view on the Safe Work Australia's Web site.

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