Category Archives: Occupational health & safety

Laboratory safety | Relevant workplace accidents/incidents including those where fatal injuries and investigations occur.

‘Bagpipe lung’ death prompts warning for wind musicians

ABC News | 24 August 2016

Musicians have been warned to clean their wind instruments regularly after British doctors reported that “bagpipe lung” had killed a man who inhaled fungi growing inside his pipes.

An article in the medical journal Thorax recorded the case of a 61-year-old man who played the bagpipes daily but had struggled with a dry cough and breathlessness for seven years.

His condition improved rapidly when he went on a three-month trip to Australia, leaving his bagpipes at home.

This prompted doctors treating him to take samples from inside the pipes.

These revealed a host of different fungi growing in the moist bag, neck and mouthpiece area of the instrument, which the man had been inhaling when he played.

Despite treatment, the man died in October 2014 and a post-mortem examination showed he had suffered extensive lung damage.

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Black lung: Queensland parliamentary review into disease resurgence approved

ABC News Gail Burke 19 August 2016

The Queensland Government will set up a parliamentary review into the re-emergence of black lung disease in the state.
The potentially life-threatening disease — also known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis — was thought to have been eliminated in Australia until a case was confirmed in May 2015.

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Black lung: Workers compensation records reveal cases known before official ‘re-emergence’

ABC News 15 August 2016

Cases of black lung disease existed well before its official ‘re-emergence’ late last year, workers compensation records have revealed.

The potentially life-threatening disease — also known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis — was thought to have been eliminated in Australia until a case was confirmed in May 2015.

Qld man electrocuted while trimming trees

Gold Coast Bulletin AAP August 9, 2016

A 29-year-old worker has been electrocuted by overhead powerlines while trimming trees on a property in north Queensland.
Police said the man died after he struck the 22,000 volt power lines while on a cherry picker on a Tolga property on Tuesday morning.

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Qld black lung cases continue to grow David Sigston

Another three Queensland miners have been diagnosed with black lung disease, according to the CFMEU.
The union says one of the victims was a retired miner who died in July, but Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources and Mines is yet to publicly confirm the cases.
The state government has so far confirmed 11 cases of the disease but the CFMEU says it knows of more than 30 people who have contracted the disease.

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Oakey water contamination: Federal Government appoints independent investigator to probe health threat

The Courier-Mail | Rhian Deutrom 5 August 2016

OAKEY residents have had another win, with the Federal Government tasking an independent investigator to examine the health risks associated with toxic firefighting foam, just months after denying a link between PFOS and PFOA and ill health.

It comes after US environmental litigation campaigner Erin Brockovich met Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Environment Minister Steven Miles yesterday and as residents gear up for what could be a landmark class action lawsuit against the Department of Defence.

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Asbestos testing underway in 68 buildings including Sydney’s The Star, Chris O’Brien’s Lifehouse

ABC News | Jayne Margetts 5 August 2016

Testing for asbestos is underway in 68 buildings across Australia including Sydney’s Chris O’Brien Lifehouse after the deadly substance was found at Perth Children’s Hospital and a Brisbane office tower.

All of the buildings had been supplied with products from Yuanda – a manufacturer in China – where asbestos is legal.

Brad Parker, the national assistant secretary of the Construction Forestry, Mining and Energy sector Union (CFMEU) construction division said he is concerned for his members.

“It’s building workers in this country who are exposed or potentially exposed to this deadly product and the end result of that of course is this deadly disease, asbestosis and mesothelioma and it’s a terrible long, suffering death and it’s just horrendous,” Mr Parker said.

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