Criteria for referral to the Alfred Occupational Respiratory Clinic

Criteria for WorkSafe referring a worker from the stonemason industry to the Alfred Occupational Respiratory Clinic (AORC) for the first time for a screening appointment.

Background

The AORC at the Alfred will make available initial screening appointments and in addition make available non screening appointments for eligible workers in the stonemason industry.

The initial target patient population for the screening appointments can be divided into three groups, in no specific order:

  1. Workers who have registered for the WorkSafe run silicosis health assessment program by 30 June 2021 and have not completed their health assessment.
  2. Workers who have not undergone any prior silicosis health assessment and
    • are still working in the stonemason industry and require heath monitoring and
    • have been in the stonemason industry for 3 months or more and
    • work for a SME business (employee numbers 30 or less)
  3. Workers who have undergone a prior silicosis health assessment and do not have a diagnosis of silicosis or other respirable crystalline silica-related disease and
    • are still working in the stonemason industry and require on-going heath monitoring and
    • have been in the stonemason industry for 3 months or more and
    • work for a SME business (employee numbers 30 or less)

If a worker meets criteria 1 they are eligible to be referred to the AORC.

If a worker meets all the requirements of criteria 2 they are eligible to be referred to the AORC.

If a worker meets all the requirements of criteria 3 they are eligible to be referred to the AORC.

Criteria for WorkSafe or the AORC referring a worker for follow up health assessments

Workers who have undergone an initial silicosis health assessment with the AORC and the AORC have clinically indicated that the worker requires a follow up health assessment with the AORC due to abnormalities that require further investigation, without a confirmed diagnosis of a work-related condition.

Criteria for referring to the AORC for non-screening appointments

  1. Past and present workers in the stonemason industry in Victoria who have a diagnosis of silicosis or other respirable crystalline silica-related disease.
  2. Workers who have undergone an initial silicosis health assessment with the AORC and have a diagnosis of silicosis or other respirable crystalline silica-related disease.

The AORC is available for an initial free screening for eligible workers in the Victorian stonemason industry. At the conclusion of the initial screening, the AORC will recommend when a follow up assessment should take place, and whether that assessment is to be done at the AORC or with an alternate medical practitioner.

AORC FAQs

What are the changes to the health assessment process?

  • Workers in the stonemason industry will continue to have free access to occupational silicosis health assessments of the highest possible standard.
  • The clinic will offer a centralised, comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and management of occupational respiratory diseases, including silicosis. Importantly workers will leave the clinic at the end of the day with their health outcome and a management plan, taking away much of the stress associated with waiting for a diagnosis.
  • Operating the clinic as a comprehensive one day visit will reduce time away from work, minimise appointments and rapidly provide results and a thorough management plan.

Who do I contact to start a health assessment?

Workers in the stonemason industry who may be eligible for a health assessment at the clinic will need to call WorkSafe's Silica Advisors on 1800 136 089 (option 1 then option 3) for a referral.

I am not a stonemason am I eligible?

The free health assessments are just for those in the stonemason industry at this stage, you can view the eligibility criteria above.

However, if you have been exposed to crystalline silica at work and the work conditions are reasonably likely to have an adverse effect on your health then your employer is obligated to pay for and arrange for you to heave health monitoring. Health monitoring should be carried out by an occupational physician who is a fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM), with expertise in respiratory and silica exposure health monitoring. A list of practitioners can be found on the Royal Australasian College of Physicians website at racp.edu.au. Employers should speak to the occupational physician to ensure they have experience with silicosis and other silica dust diseases.

I had a health assessment a year ago and need another which process will I go through?

All silicosis health assessments will now be taking place through the AORC, subject to eligibility. To book and confirm eligibility, call WorkSafe's Silica Advisors on 1800 136 089 (option 1 then option 3) for a referral.

Can I have more than one free initial screening at the AORC?

The AORC is available for an initial free screening for eligible workers in the Victorian stonemason industry. At the conclusion of the initial screening, the AORC will recommend when a follow up assessment should take place, and whether that assessment is to be done at the AORC or with an alternate medical practitioner.

I have a question about the health assessment program, who can I contact?

Call WorkSafe's Silica Advisors on 1800 136 089 (option 1 then option 3).

I have already started the health assessment program with WorkSafe who will continue my care?

If you have registered for the WorkSafe health assessment program and have not completed your initial health assessment in full by 31 August 2021 then you will be eligible to complete your free health assessment at the AORC. To obtain a referral please contact WorkSafe's Silica Advisors on 1800 136 089 (option 1 then option 3).

I have registered for the health assessment program with WorkSafe but not booked my first appointment

If you have registered for the WorkSafe health assessment program and have not booked your initial health assessment appointment with the occupational healthcare provider by 30 June 2021, then you will be eligible to complete your free health assessment at the AORC. You will need a referral for this, please contact WorkSafe's Silica Advisors on 1800 136 089 (option 1 then option 3).

I have completed my initial health assessment in full with the WorkSafe health assessment program and I am required to see my respiratory physician within 6 months for a second time, who will continue my care?

You will continue to attend your follow up consultation appointment with your respiratory physician funded through the WorkSafe health assessment program along with the test(s) your respiratory physician has referred you for.

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