With well-publicised and reported issues with the former SKM and Glass Recovery Services site, the members of our union have increasingly been exposed to dust. Delegates from Hume City Council have met with Maurice Blackburn lawyers to ensure that all staff and members are protected in the case of asbestos and/or dust, fumes and chemical exposure and the potential onset of dust diseases.

The symptoms of dust diseases are similar to many other respiratory illnesses. Dust diseases can be diagnosed through medical tests. Common disease symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath or abnormal breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Mucus in the airways (sputum production)

Dust diseases do not generally appear until many years after exposure. They can cause benign thickening or scarring of lung tissue. Asbestos dust can also cause lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma.

It’s a good idea to document any asbestos and or/dust, fumes and chemical exposure in case of the development of an asbestos-related or occupational lung disease later in life. Recording your details of an exposure, regardless of how recent or long ago it was, can help any future claims for compensation you may need to make.

Attached is a PDF copy of Maurice Blackburn’s Dust Diseases Register.  You are encouraged to fill out and return the forms to either Maurice Blackburn, your local area Delegate or to the Union office, regardless of whether you have an occupational disease or illness, provided that you have been exposed. Registration is free, and obligation-free as well.

The online link to the register is https://my.mauriceblackburn.com.au/exposure-register/home

If you record an illness due to exposure, you will be contacted by Maurice Blackburn and advised of next steps. It is also advised that you visit your GP to record and document with their records of your exposure.

If you are interested in further information contact your delegate, organiser or the ASU Members Contact Centre on 1300 855 570.

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