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WorkCover Queensland’s Supporting Statement Regarding The Project's Occupational Lung Disease Story

Thousands of Australians are at risk of developing silicosis

Thank you for your report about silicosis on The Project on Tuesday 18 June 2019. We appreciate the effort in raising awareness about the disease to a national audience.

We would like to clarify that workers’ compensation schemes in Australia operate under state-based legislation. As a result, each scheme is quite different in what it covers and how it operates.

WorkCover Queensland is assisting workers who have been diagnosed with silicosis in the manufactured stone benchtop industry.

Anyone who has worked as a stonemason with exposure to engineered stone in Queensland is eligible for an initial health screening through WorkCover Queensland. These screenings have been offered since September 2018 to anyone who has worked as a stonemason in Queensland.

The majority of Queensland workers who receive a diagnosis of silicosis have had their claim accepted on the same day they are diagnosed, with their weekly wages being paid to them within the first week of them not being able to work. WorkCover Queensland works closely with workers, employers and doctors to ensure that the worker is supported throughout their claim as well as providing access to psychological assistance during this difficult period in their lives.

WorkCover Queensland has a dedicated team to manage the health screening process and the ongoing claim for workers who have been diagnosed with silicosis. WorkCover Queensland is committed to assisting workers with retraining and return to work options, if appropriate, as every individual’s circumstances are different.

More information about silicosis and how to apply for a health screening is available online by visiting www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/silicosis or by calling 1300 362 128.