WorkSafe have reviewed the components of health monitoring and when health monitoring should be completed for those that work with asbestos.

Health monitoring now no longer requires a chest X-ray to be taken either as baseline or for monitoring purposes. The emphasis for these medicals unless a Medical Practitioner recommends otherwise, must include demographic, medical and occupational history as well as spirometry measurements. Personal exposure including any relevant risk assessments and air monitoring carried out by the PCBU will be part of the full asbestos medical.

The frequency of these assessments has now changed to 2 yearly from work starting with asbestos, regardless of when an individual starts working for a PCBU.

Clients complete an asbestos respiratory questionnaire which investigates their previous and current potential exposure to asbestos and any relevant medical history. Spirometry is completed. Education is then given regarding respiratory protection.

A spirometry, or lung function test, looks at the following:

> Interprets how well the lungs are performing.
> Measures FEV1 – forced expiratory volume – the amount of air you can blow (huff) out in 1 second
> Measures FVC – forced vital capacity – the largest amount of air you can blow (huff) out after a large inhalation of air
> Identify employees at risk from hazardous air contaminants in the workplace

What’s involved?

Employees undergo a 30 minute appointment at our TriEx Health Clinics.

The Appointments include:

> Assessment of the employees past and present air contaminant history (includes recreational)
> Full Spirometry test
> Asbestos exposure and history questionnaire
> Chest X-Ray if recommended by Occupational Health Physician – referral is organised by TriEx
> Explanation of the results to the employee
> Education on responsibility to protect
> All test results are reviewed by an Occupational Health Physician
> Individual Reports are sent to the Company
> All documents including test results with information on asbestos are sent to the individual

To find out more please contact our health team on 0800 487 439 or email enquiries@triex.co.nz