- Eligible stonemasons can access free screening in single visit appointment
- New clinic is the first dedicated public hospital occupational respiratory clinic
- Silicosis is a lung disease common among stonemasons
The Victorian government has announced an upgraded treatment program offering free screening and care for stonemasons with a high risk of developing the lung disease silicosis.
As a result of a partnership between WorkSafe and The Alfred, eligible tradies can now be assessed for the disease and receive a subsequent treatment plan all in a single day appointment.
According to Minister for Workplace Safety, Ingrid Stitt, the new Alfred Occupational Respiratory Clinic, is Australia’s first dedicated public hospital occupational respiratory clinic.
“Silicosis has had a debilitating effect on too many tradies,” she said.
“This partnership will mean many people facing this horrible disease will be able to get the care and support they deserve from a dedicated team of health professionals.”
Ingrid Stitt, Minister for Workplace Safety
Eligible workers in the stonemason industry can use the new facility to access the free one day appointments.
The single visit health care approach is hoped to reduce time off work and the stress associated with awaiting a test result.
WorkSafe CEO Colin Radford said the new system will reduce the stress often associated with Silicosis.
“Silica health screening and treatment is often a stressful experience for workers and their families, which is why having a centralised clinic to manage their health journey will make such a difference,” said Mr Radforf.
Screening for Silicosis has been free for eligible stonemasons since May 2019. Since then an estimated 90% of current and past stonemasons have registered for screening.
Just over 10% of those who underwent screening received a positive result and have made subsequent claims to WorkSafe.