Crystalline Silica Medicals in Parramatta and Sydney

Silicosis has now been recognised as a serious health threat. Get your workers tested for peace of mind.

Crystalline Silica Medicals

Our medicals take approximately 30-40 minutes to complete in one of our clinics.

First, you must complete a questionnaire where you answer questions about your work history with Crystalline Silica, some details about your general health and lifestyle, and then you will take a lung function test (also known as a Spirometry).

If you have not had an ILO Chest X-Ray taken in the last three years, we will send you to a nearby radiology (no more than 9 minutes away) to get an X-Ray taken. We will give you the referral and you can just walk right in. Usually, the waiting time is less than 10 minutes, and you won't have to wait for the results. They will come straight back to our doctors. 

What happens in a pre-employment medical

Working Safely with Crystalline SIlica

Watch this short video from Safework NSW about how to protect yourself from Crystalline Silica.

If you are working in tunneling or underground excavation work, you may be required to take a Crystalline Silica medical.

What Are the Symptoms of Silicosis?

The main symptoms of silicosis are shortness of breath after exercising, chest pain, a harsh, dry cough and tiredness. But in the early stages of silicosis, there may be no symptoms.

The symptoms become severe as the condition gets worse. Eventually, you might find simple activities such as walking or climbing stairs difficult. You might also have trouble sleeping and eating properly.

Silicosis can also increase the risk of getting other serious conditions such as tuberculosis (TB), chest infections, emphysema, kidney damage and lung cancer.

If you develop the symptoms of silicosis, make an urgent appointment for Crystalline Silica Testing medical with Persona Health if you work, or have worked, with products that create silica dust.

How can you prevent developing silicosis?:-

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to silica dust
  • Wear protective masks - NOT PAPER MASKS
  • Wet-down tools and materials to suppress dust
  • Use tools that have dust-collecting attachments
  • Test annually so we can monitor your health
  • Silicosis is incurable - do everything to minimise risk!
symptoms of silicosis

Hiring new staff in Construction/Demolition? 

Crystalline Silica Testing and Your Obligations as an Employer

An employer has significant obligations when it comes to Crystalline Silica and ensuring the health and safety of their employees. Crystalline Silica is a common mineral found in various materials such as sand, stone, concrete, and brick. Exposure to airborne crystalline silica dust can lead to serious health issues, including silicosis, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases. To protect their employees, employers must take several key steps.

First and foremost, employers must be aware of the potential hazards associated with Crystalline Silica. They should stay informed about regulations and guidelines set by relevant occupational health and safety agencies, such as WorkSafe Australia. This includes understanding Workplace Exposure Standard (WES) and other safety standards.

Employers should conduct thorough risk assessments to identify areas and processes where employees may be exposed to Crystalline Silica. This assessment should consider the type and duration of exposure, as well as any control measures currently in place. By identifying potential risks, employers can implement appropriate measures to minimise or eliminate exposure.

Implementing engineering controls is crucial in reducing the risks associated with Crystalline Silica. These controls may include enclosing or isolating high-exposure areas, installing ventilation systems, and using wet methods to suppress dust. Employers should regularly inspect and maintain these controls to ensure their effectiveness.

In addition to engineering controls, employers must provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees. Respiratory protection should be provided for workers in areas where exposure to Crystalline Silica cannot be adequately controlled. Employers should train employees on the proper use, maintenance, and limitations of PPE.

Education and training are vital to ensuring employee safety. Employers should provide comprehensive training programs that inform employees about the hazards of Crystalline Silica, safe work practices, and emergency procedures. This includes training on how to properly handle, use, and dispose of materials containing Crystalline Silica. Regular refresher training should be conducted to reinforce awareness and knowledge.

Medical surveillance is another important obligation for employers. They should establish a system for monitoring and evaluating the health of employees exposed to Crystalline Silica by regular silica testing. This includes providing access to medical examinations, maintaining medical records, and ensuring confidentiality. Regular medical evaluations can help identify any health issues early on and enable appropriate intervention.

Employers should also establish effective communication channels regarding Crystalline Silica hazards. This includes clearly labeling and providing safety data sheets for materials containing Crystalline Silica. Employers should encourage employees to report any concerns or incidents related to exposure and promptly address them.

Lastly, employers should continuously evaluate and improve their Crystalline Silica testing control measures. This may involve conducting regular workplace inspections, reviewing exposure control plans, and seeking input from employees. By actively monitoring and updating their practices, employers can adapt to new information, technologies, and regulations.

In summary, the obligations of an employer regarding Crystalline Silica and employee health are multifaceted. They involve understanding the hazards, conducting risk assessments, implementing engineering controls and PPE, providing education and training, conducting medical surveillance, establishing effective communication, and continuously evaluating and improving practices. By fulfilling these obligations, employers can prioritize the well-being of their employees and create a safe working environment.

If you are looking for a high-quality Crystalline Silica Medical Assessment service in Sydney, you should consider visiting Persona Health. Our clinics across Sydney are manned by a team of experienced and qualified professionals who specialise in providing such medicals.

Contact us today to book an appointment or find out more about our Crystalline Silica Testing Medical services. 

The Dangers of Silicosis

Silicosis is an aggressive and incurable lung disease caused by breathing in particles of crystalline silica (silicon dioxide). Crystalline silica is present is present in all kinds of rocks and sand.

Workers exposed to such materials while they are being cut, broken, smashed or polished with saws, hammers and angle grinders are at particular risk.

Silica particles, once inhaled, can cause severe damage to the lungs, making the patient susceptible to chronic respiratory illnesses.

If you or your employees work with silica dust, you should be monitored annually to ensure you are not at risk.

Since there is no specific treatment for silicosis (with the exception of a lung transplant in severe cases), prevention is key with regular monitoring to ensure ongoing safety.

Persona Health provides a comprehensive diagnosis and monitoring using a combined ILO Chest X-Ray and pulmonary function test (spirometry) test.

Call 02 8000 1980 to discuss your on-site Health Surveillance requirements and book in your session. 

Concrete cutting causing Crystalline Silica dust

Need to get tested for Silicosis?

What Happens During a Crystalline Silica Medical?

During a silicosis medical examination, various procedures are conducted to assess the individual's lung function, overall health, and potential exposure to crystalline silica dust. Here is an overview of what typically happens during a silicosis medical:

1. Medical History: The healthcare professional will start by gathering information about the individual's medical history, including any occupational exposure to crystalline silica dust and the duration of exposure.

2. Physical Examination: A thorough physical examination is conducted, focusing on the respiratory system. The healthcare provider may listen to the lungs with a stethoscope, check for any abnormalities, and assess overall health.

3. ILO Chest X-ray: An International Labour Organisation (ILO) chest X-ray is commonly performed to examine the lungs for signs of silicosis. It helps detect the presence of opacities or scars, which are indicative of lung damage caused by silica particles.

4. Spirometry (aka Pulmonary Function Test (PFT)): These tests assess lung function by measuring various parameters, such as lung capacity, airflow, and gas exchange. PFTs can help determine the severity of lung impairment and the impact of silicosis on respiratory function.

5. Skin Checks: A skin check may be conducted to look for signs of irritation, inflammation or rashes caused by exposure to Crystalline Silica, and is done to help evaluate the overall health of the individual.

6. Occupational History and Exposure Assessment: Our doctors may inquire further about the individual's work history, including details about silica dust exposure, work practices, and use of protective measures. This information helps evaluate the extent of occupational exposure and potential risks.

7. Follow-up and Recommendations: Based on the findings from the medical examination, the healthcare provider will provide appropriate recommendations and guidance. This may include advising on work modifications, respiratory protection, lifestyle changes, and further medical follow-up.

It's important to note that a silicosis medical examination should be conducted by a qualified healthcare professional experienced in occupational lung diseases. Regular medical monitoring is crucial for individuals with known or suspected exposure to crystalline silica dust to detect and manage silicosis at an early stage. 

At Persona Health, our team has many years of experience in conducting Crystalline Silica Medicals. Book your employees in today with complete confidence in getting an accurate assessment of their health. 

How Engineered Stone Benchtops Pose a Serious Silicosis Risk

Benchtops made from engineered stone can pose an immense risk to tradies and homeowners present when such benchtops are cut, ground or polished.

The dust created contains Crystalline Silica, a hazardous material that can cause serious damage when inhaled.

  • Stone benchtops when cut or polished release silica dust
  • Stone benches are used in many construction projects
  • Exposure to silica dust can cause the lung condition silicosis
  • Correct PPE is vital when working with stone materials
Silicosis threat from engineered stone kitchen benchtops

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Crystalline Silica, Silicosis, and Your Workers' Health

All our Crystalline SIlica Medicals are undertaken to Safework Australia specifications. Under Work Health & Safety Regulations (WHS) Crystalline Silica is listed as a restricted hazardous chemical. Examples of work activities involving Crystalline Silica include:-

• Fabrication, installation, maintenance and removal of engineered stone counter-tops
• Excavation, earth moving and drilling plant operations
• Clay and stone processing machine operations
• Paving and surfacing
• Mining, quarrying and mineral ore treating processes
• Road construction and tunnelling
• Construction labouring and demolition
• Brick, concrete or stone cutting; especially using dry methods
• Abrasive blasting (blasting agent must not contain greater than one per cent of crystalline silica)
• Foundry casting
• Angle grinding, jack hammering and chiselling of concrete or masonry
• Hydraulic fracturing of gas and oil wells
• Pottery and other ceramics industries
• Crushing, loading, hauling and dumping of rock or muck, and
• Clean-up activities such as sweeping or pressurised air blowing of dust.
Silica is also abundant in nature in multiple forms.  Non-occupational exposure to silica dust can occur around industrial sites (quartz crushing, agate grinding, ceramics, use of slate pencils, mining and milling of sand stones, silica flour milling) or from naturally occurring sources such as desert dust or sand. 

Health monitoring occurs when a significant risk of exposure is identified.  This is required under the model WHS regulations and will include:-

• Collection of demographics, medical and occupational history
• Records of personal exposure
• Standardised respiratory questionnaire to be completed
• Standardised respiratory function tests, for example, FEV1 (Forced expiratory volume in one second) , FVC (Forced vital capacity) and FEV1/FVC 
• ILO Chest X-Ray reviewed by an ILO-accredited radiologist.

The WHS Laws are regularly reviewed and updated and we will ensure compliance.

In summary, the Silicosis Screening process is as follows:-

ILO Chest Xray for crystalline silica silicosis medical

An ILO-Chest X-Ray should be taken prior to the appointment, or bring your most recent X-Ray Report if less than 5 years old.

Arrive on time for your crystalline silica medical appointment at Persona Health

Arrive at the screening room or clinic 15 minutes before appointment to complete any paper work.

Silicosis lung function spirometry test for a Safework Australia crystalline silica medical

Patient called to screening room.
A lung function (spirometry) test is taken and the Chest X-Ray examined. 45-60 min per person to complete. 

Medical test results are provided to your employer

Final result report provided to the supervisor at the conclusion of the examination.