Don’t miss your chance to see the best Speakers, diverse topics all in one place!
Over 40+ presentations with topics including:
Respirable Crystalline Silica
Sampling Risk Management
Fire & smoke exposures Chemicals
Dust exposure and monitoring
Emissions and many more…
MONDAY 30 November
Session 1: Opening Speaker: Max Lum - Crisis Communication in the Pandemic Era: The Five Common Missteps | Sponsor - 3M Australia
Dr. Lum was responsible for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s initiatives in health communication, media relations and the Institute’s international program portfolio for over fifteen years until his retirement in 2011. He currently serves as senior advisor to the Office of the Director, on e-communication and research translation issues. Dr. Lum began his career as a White House Fellow serving as a technical writer and community involvement specialist and served as the Director of Health Education, ATSDR-CDC before coming to NIOSH. Max’s academic training from the University of Southern California was focused on communication practice within the medical education program.
Even though nations and organizations were confronted with global health emergencies before such as SARS (2003), H1N1 (2009), and Ebola (2014-2015), many seem to have forgotten the lessons learned on developing fit-for purpose protocols for risk management and communication to protect and care for concerned populations. The COVID-19 crisis reminds us once again that a complete understanding of the basic principles of crisis communication response are essential, and lessons learned from previous events and disruptions are key for protecting citizen’s health and safety and preserving business continuity. The pandemic above all is a wake-up call that our well being is closely tied to the health of the planet. We must accept a hard lesson-markets depend on the health of our citizens and the natural environment. Markets cannot succeed in failing societies. There is not strong evidence that explaining the science of disease can directly change behavior, let alone habits (NASEM, 2016)* The key reasons people do not do things they should are cognitive preferences for old habits, forgetfulness, following the path of least inconvenience, applying politically motivated reasoning, and most importantly seeking information to confirm pre-existing beliefs. This presentation is designed to assist decision makers to identify communication strategies for increasing adherence to protective behaviors that can mitigate the spread of disease and features selected lessons derived globally from the COVID-19 response inclusive of the following: Pre-crisis: communication preparation and training Crisis response: communication response to the crisis Post-crisis: highlights to better prepare for the next crisis and application lessons learned to fulfill commitments made during the crisis response phase *NASEM (National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine) (2016). Science Literacy: Concepts, Contexts, and Consequences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Session 3: Brad DoLambert - Evaluation of controls during concrete cutting and grinding works in a transient work environment
Over 12 years experience in various scientific fields (primarily Cytogenetics and Forensic Biology). Brad then transitioned to a work health and safety role within the Health care system (8 years) and during this time decided to undertake a Masters of Occupational Hygiene and Toxicology (ECU). Brad then transitioned to an occupational hygiene consultancy role and been in the field for 6 months.
Some construction sites encounter difficulties identifying effective controls aimed at minimising respirable crystalline silica (RCS) exposures during concrete cutting and grinding works due to their transient nature. Limitations are also encountered identifying practical controls capable of being transferred from one location to the next. This project evaluated the effectiveness of controls used in a transient environment by obtaining RCS exposure and background monitoring data. Feedback from workers was also received to gain an understanding of the perceived effectiveness of controls. The site was unable to introduce wet methods of works and trialled combinations of engineering and administrative controls and PPE. Certain combinations of control reduced RCS exposures, but were unable to reduce exposures below the workplace exposure standard (WES). Sites may encounter hurdles using wet methods of control however it is important they are trialled in conjunction with other levels of control to reduce RCS exposures below the WES.
Session 5: Kate Cole - Best practice in controlling respirable crystalline silica in infrastructure | Sponsor - Onsite Safety Australia
Kate is an Engineer and Certified Occupational Hygienist who has worked in the construction industry for almost two decades on projects both in Australia and internationally. She holds degrees in Science, Engineering and Occupational Hygiene, and is currently supporting Sydney Metro as the Director, Health.
Named as one of the Top 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review, a Winston Churchill Fellow, and one of Science & Technology Australia's Superstars of STEM, Kate is a passionate advocate for preserving the health of Australian construction workers and addressing of silica dust exposure in the construction industry.
Sydney Metro is Australia's biggest public transport project. In 2024, this new standalone railway will deliver 31 metro stations and more than 66 kilometres of new metro rail, revolutionising the way Australia's biggest city travels. Sydney Metro recognises the important issue of preventing work related illness and diseases in the thousands of workers who contribute to the successful delivery of this world-class infrastructure. As such Sydney Metro established an occupational health and hygiene program which set performance requirements to provide governance and an understanding of occupational health risks through our supply chain. This included a specific focus on respirable crystalline silica. This industry-leading program has enabled the collection of data to highlight areas of excellence and also to inform areas that would benefit from future intervention and engineering solutions. This presentation provides a case study on our approach and resultant achievements.
Session 7: Jim Struthers - How pulsations effect the performance of a respirable sampling head and the importance of dampeners within an air sampling pump
Experienced Sales Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the test and measurement industry. Skilled in International and UK sales, Leading a Sales Team, Negotiation, Business Development and Strategic Planning. Strong sales professional with a Bachelor's Degree focused in Business/Commerce, from Birmingham City University.
What this means:
Impaired Cyclone Performance for respirable fractions. Flow must be maintained.
Affects the size cut of the sample if pulsations are high
Therefore less Sample collected
Sample Deposited on the sampler rather than the filter.
Rubber diaphragms which provide an extra reservoir of air
Located at the inlet & outlet of the pump to smooth the flow
Vital to maintain sample integrity BUT they're inclusion impacts the size of the overall pump.
Session 9: Closing Speaker: Carter Ficklin - What Does Occupational Hygiene Look Like Post Covid-19 | Sponsor - GCG Health Safety & Hygiene
Carter works as the Program Manager for Mission Technologies, Inc. on the Facility Assurance, Inspection, Monitoring, and Occupational Safety Contract (FAIMOS) at NASA LaRC. In addition to his work at NASA, Carter has been very active in the development and presentation of courses in Health and Safety Leadership in North America, Europe, and Australia.These courses and workshops are designed to build leadership skills, enhance communication abilities, and develop teamwork in organizations to maximize health and safety program effectiveness. Over 1,200 health and safety professionals have attended these courses in the past nine years. Carter has been very active in the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA).He has served as President of the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation, the chair of the AIHA Early Career Professionals Committee, the president AIHA Tidewater Local Section.
At the AIOH conference last year in Perth it’s unlikely anyone could have predicted the events that would unfold in the first quarter of 2020. The rapid shutdown of international borders caused an immediate slowdown in the global economy. As the virus spread, lockdown measures forced many workplaces to close or dramatically alter normal operations.There's no argument that the Covid-19 Pandemic created some significant challenges in occupational hygiene leadership and communication.But could these unforeseen challenges be a path forward to a new era in awareness of the importance of worker health and safety? The occupational hygiene community experienced an immediate call to action to develop and communicate control strategies to attempt to allow business and society as a whole to return to some sort of normalcy.....albeit drastically different. This presentation will highlight some of the challenges encountered as our profession had to rapidly pivot from what was normal occupational hygiene practice into Covid-19 management. As a result, public awareness of measures to control hazards in the workplace has never been at a higher level. As we continue to address these challenges by communicating with workers and the public are we paving the path to a much brighter future for our profession?A number of perspectives from global occupational hygiene leaders will be shared to help us all take a breath for a moment and look towards better days.
Session 2: Invited speaker: John Cherrie - What should we do to prevent disease from crystalline silica exposure? Sponsor - Active Environmental Solutions
John Cherrieis Emeritus Professor of Human Health at Heriot Watt University and a Principal Scientist at the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) in Edinburgh, UK. He has been an occupational hygienist since 1979, working on research, consultancy and teaching. John is a member of the British Workplace Health Expert Committee and the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council. In 2020, John had planned to retire but the pandemic put paid to that and he is now working on a new research project to evaluate the effectiveness of novel workplace interventions to protect healthcare workers from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The link between work and silicosis has been known for hundreds of years and knowledge that silica can cause lung cancer emerged during the last twenty or thirty years. Each year around the world, about 50,000 people die from lung cancer as a consequence of silica exposure, with a further 10,000 deaths from silicosis. Globally the death toll has risen over the last 40-years as the number of workers exposed has increased, although in high income countries silica-related deaths have been slowly decreasing. Silicosis and lung cancer from workplace crystalline silica exposure can be prevented. However, we have been slow to learn how to effectively manage the risks and quick to forget the lessons of history. During the last forty years we have seen cases of accelerated silicosis amongst stone masons in Scotland, where exposures were 100s of times the permitted levels, and cases of silicosis in people sandblasting jeans or cutting granite tabletops. We really need to change our attitude to airborne dust at work to make it unacceptable. Only by completely eliminating the problem can we prevent these diseases.
Session 4: Shane McDougall - The Personal Exposure Cost of Keeping the Lights On! An Evaluation of Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica and Respirable Dust for Coal Fired Power Station Fabric Filter Workers.
Shane is a person who has taken a different route to becoming an Occupational Hygienist. He started his working life as an apprentice diesel technician with Caterpillar progressing through to a management position in charge of 350 employees. He was formally introduced to the field of Occupational Hygiene in 2014 and was immediately hooked once seeing the positive impact the occupational hygiene field has at a workplace. Shane has successfully completed courses in Maintenance Management, Business Improvement and graduated from UOW's Master of Work Health and Safety. Shane has been with Occupational Hygiene Consulting for 7 years and has experience spent extensive time within the power industry and mining sector in both NSW, Qld, SA and Victoria. Through Occupational Hygiene Consulting he enjoys the wide diversity of occupational hygiene he is exposed to. He is passionate about being able to help small and large companies protect the new generation of young workers in the workforce.
An evaluation of worker exposure to respirable dust (RD) and respirable crystalline silica (RCS) found in fly ash during removal of fabric filter bags within the Fabric Filter Cells, was conducted at a coal fired power station. A qualitative survey explored the worker's understanding of the health risks associated with RD and RCS and current controls. The Quantitative measurements within the Fabric Filter SEG resulted in TWA concentration ranges of 0.22 mg/mÂ³ to 25.37 mg/mÂ³ for RD and 0.01 mg/mÂ³ to 1.49 mg/mÂ³ for RCS. UCL values of 30.46 mg/mÂ³ for RD and 0.94 mg/mÂ³ for RCS identifies that workers are at a high risk of developing chronic health conditions. Compressed air tooling was identified as a major contributing factor to high exposure results. The survey data also identified education and respirator fit testing was inadequate. With fly ash needing to be extracted from the production processes of more than 2000 coal fired power stations across the world, the project and its findings will be transferrable across the power industry and fabric filter bag house operations.
Session 6: Steven Verpaele - Sampling and Analytical Challenges in Meeting Ever- Lower OELs for Metals and Metalloids | Sponsor - Mount Isa Mines
Steven Verpaele, Master of science in environmental chemistry Industrial Hygiene. He did a lot of research work on sampling and analysis for dust and elemental compositions in workplace atmospheres, especially silica. Working for 7 years as head of the environmental section at the University College of Ghent in the laboratory for occupational hygiene and 11 years as principal occupational hygienist for an External Company for Occupational Prevention and Protection. Currently he is the industrial hygiene manager at the Nickel Institute (global association of leading primary nickel producers).
He is also founder and president of the Belgian Centre for Occupational Hygiene, a non-profit organization focused on research and laboratory services to industry regarding occupational hygiene exposure assessment. BeCOH has an MOU with Workplace Health Without Borders (WHWB) and provides free of charge analysis for OH projects.
Occupational exposure limit values for metals and metalloids are decreasing, especially for metals or metalloids identified as carcinogens or sensitizers. Increasingly, size-specific sampling fractions (e.g. inhalable and/or respirable) are prescribed by regulation. These very low OELVs bring challenges to the measurement methods. All portions of these methods, including sampling, sample dissolution and the analytical methods themselves must be optimized dramatically in order to attain lower method detection limits while maintaining high data quality. The learning outcome of this presentation is focussed on understanding the growing challenges in trace-level sampling and analysis for metals and metalloids, focussing on nickel as an example The practical application for IH/OH professionals is to offer help in selecting the right sampling equipment for trace-level metals and metalloids and ensure they understand the importance of proper laboratory analysis in obtaining the results they need for decision making.
Session 8: Lachlan McPhail - Managing Formaldehyde Exposure in Modern University Anatomy Laboratories
Lachlan is a health and safety professional with 12 years experience across consultancy and in-house advisory services. He is a Health and Safety Advisor in the tertiary education sector and graduate from the University of Wollongong Master of Work, Health and Safety program specialising in Occupational Hygiene.
This presentation theme will highlight if modern university anatomy laboratories are appropriately managing formaldehyde exposure. The current Australian formaldehyde workplace exposure standards (WES) are 1 ppm time-weighted average (TWA) and 2 ppm short-term exposure limit (STEL). Safe Work Australia recently proposed a TWA and STEL WES of 0.1 ppm and 0.3 ppm respectively. This study was undertaken using personal air monitoring and participant exposure questionnaire data to characterise exposure. Ventilation and personal protective equipment control measures were also assessed. The results highlighted exposure was not acceptable. The TWA and STEL geometric means were measured at 1.1 ppm and 1.5 ppm respectively and Bayesian analysis supported the conclusion. Powered air purifying respirators were introduced to enable further review of ventilation and substitution controls. Modern university anatomy laboratories may need to undertake detailed exposure assessments in preparation of a revised formaldehyde WES.
Session 10: Opening Speaker: Lisa M Brosseau- Aerosol Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: Biological Plausibility and Implications for Workplace Control Measures | Sponsor - Safety Equipment Australia Pty Ltd
Dr. Brosseau received her masters and doctoral degrees in Industrial Hygiene from the Harvard School of Public Health. She spent her career as an academic researcher at the University of Minnesota and University of Illinois at Chicago, teaching graduate-level industrial hygiene courses and conducting research on respiratory protection and small business workplace safety interventions.Her early research with respirators focused on filter performance, comparison of surgical masks vs. respirators and respirator use in healthcare settings. More recent research focused on better understanding how respirators fit during work.Recently retired from academia, Dr. Brosseau continues to consult and advise on respirator topics.
This presentation will briefly review data that support aerosol inhalation as an important transmission mode for SARS-CoV-2, including evidence of human-generated aerosols, virus viability in air and access to respiratory cellular receptors. I will then discuss the implications of aerosol transmission for control measures in workplace settings, highlighting the importance of source and pathway controls before resorting to receptor controls (personal protective equipment).
Session 12: Andy McCarthy - COVID-19 Management in a high-risk country
Andy McCarthy, MSc, MPH, MAIOH, COH is an AIOH Full Member and Certified Occupational Hygienist with over 10 years of experience in the fields of consulting, mining and oil and gas. Andy holds a Graduate Certificate Occupational Hygiene (University of Wollongong), a Graduate Diploma OHS (Edith Cowan University), a Master of Science (Edith Cowan University) and a Master of Public Health (National University of Medical Science). Andy works for Rio Tinto as Principal Advisor Health and Hygiene at the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.
I work as Principal Advisor Health and Hygiene at a large mine site which is 80 kilometres from the Chinese border. The business crosses the border multiple times per day to deliver our product to our clients, all of whom are in China. We were at high risk from the very start of this pandemic due to proximity and conditions in southern Mongolia. Through good management and extensive control measures, we have been able to remain at full production, continue to employ thousands of people and continue to contribute to the prosperity of Mongolia.
Session 14: Sue Reed - Fire Fighter Exposure
Has over 40 years experience as an academic, researcher and practitioner in the field of occupational health and safety specifically in field of occupational and environmental hygiene. For the last 10 years Sue has been working at ECU most recently as the Director, Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety in the School of Medical & Health Sciences. Has either authored or co-authored over 50 papers and conference presentations. Most recently she is one of the editors of AIOH book â€œPrinciples of Occupational Health and Hygiene, An Introductionâ€. Sue is a past President of the AIOH
Fire Fighters are compelled by their employment to take all necessary steps for protecting and saving life and property, whilst preventing and extinguishing fires and when combating hazardous material incidents. As a consequence they may be exposed to a range of chemical, physical, biological, ergonomic and psychosocial hazards in response to call outs, including fires, HAZMAT spills and other emergencies. Their health concerns include cancer risk, cardiovascular risk, physical stress, heat stress, psychological stress, and infections. The acute toxic effects of smoke from fires include lacrimation, upper respiratory tract irritation and impairment of lung function. There are also potential synergistic effects of exposure to oxygen depletion, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, for example causing asphyxiation. Chronic effects include cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and cancer. Pyrolysis products in fire smoke consist of a cocktail of many chemicals including carcinogenic chemicals. The International Agency for Research on Cancer lists carcinogens that may be found in various fire smoke scenarios. Some limited research has shown, in small trials, that firefighting clothing can absorb a range of airborne contaminants that can then be later analysed to determine what was present during a fire event. There are no published studies that could be found relating to airborne exposures of Australian firefighters, and limited studies internationally, during major fire activities including either structural or wild fires. This presentation will discuss the initial results of a pilot study to identify some of the hazardous materials Fire Fighters are exposed to from constituents of the smoke of a structural fire.
Session 16: Michael Tolmie - Uncontrolled airborne chemicals in sack room: A Case Study
Michael Tolmie is an OHS Regulatory Specialist (Occupational Hygiene) in the Safety and Integrity Division of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA). With 20 years of professional experience in regulation and compliance in the resources industry, Michael has assessed safety cases and performed inspections on offshore production platforms, drilling rigs, FPSOs, and pipe-laying vessels, examining technical controls for the prevention and mitigation of health hazards and major accident events. Michael is a Certified Occupational Hygienist and has formal tertiary qualifications in Chemistry and Occupational Hygiene. He is also a Member of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH). Prior to joining NOPSEMA, Michael spent many years with Saudi Aramco and Coffey, allowing Michael to develop specialist technical skills in the fields of occupational health, regulatory compliance and managing risk in major hazard industries.
While inspecting an offshore drilling rig operating on the North West Shelf off the coast of Western Australia, inspectors observed uncontrolled airborne hazardous chemicals during chemical mixing at the sack room manual hopper. The airborne, uncontrolled chemical mixture presented an occupational health risk to members of the workforce. The inspection, including discussions with the workforce regarding the effectiveness of the implemented safety management system and associated controls, found the risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals was not managed to as low as reasonably practicable. Enforcement action was taken firstly to address the immediate threat to the health and safety of workers by ensuring the workforce was provided with suitable respiratory protection, and secondly, to implement a series of controls at the source to reduce the risk of exposure to members of the workforce to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).
Mark is an Occupational Hygienist (MAIOH) whose current Senior Application Engineer role at 3M Australia (Personal Safety Division) focuses on providing technical end user guidance and advice around the selection, use and maintenance of personal protective equipment. This is backed through his previous experience as an Occupational Hygiene/Property Risk Consultant, Masters in Science (Occupational Hygiene Practice), Cert IV in OHS, NSW Licensed Asbestos Assessor (LAA001242) and 18 years in the safety equipment and training industry.
He has experience as an Occupational Hygiene/Property Risk Consultant with knowledge and skills in undertaking occupational hygiene assessments, asbestos/hazardous materials inspection, property risk assessment and Work Health and Safety assessments. He is passionate about occupational hygiene to ensure workers health is not compromised from workplace exposures and practices.
Mark also hosts the Science of Safety Podcasts, which is available on all major podcast platforms. He chats with expert guests on a range of WHS topics to provide practical advice and guidance for all workplaces.
RESP-FIT is the exciting new AIOH program to accredit competent respiratory fit testers, approve training providers and trainers. A significant aspect of the practice of occupational hygiene in certain industries is the management of respiratory protective equipment programs, including fit testing. There is clear evidence that real world respiratory protective equipment (RPE) protection factors are improved when there is an RPE fit testing as part of a respiratory protection program (RPP). The specifics of RPE fit testing are coming under increasing scrutiny with such high reliance in many workplaces on RPE as a control and the increased respirator use due to the pandemic. However, there is currently no clear guidance in Australia on what defines a good RPE fit test and unfortunately, there are plenty of examples of poor fit testing practice and mis-information in many industries. Most industries/companies currently use their own definition/level of a competent person, but what is a competent person varies significantly between industry/companies. Over the past 2 years, the AIOH have had a working group to develop an industry self-regulated RPE fit testing training and accreditation program in close co-operation with many stakeholders to fill this gap in guidance and best practice to provide the means for improving the quality of RPE fit testing in Australian workplaces. This new program is called RESP-FIT. This presentation will cover the details of the new AIOH RESP-FIT program.
Session 20: Closing Speaker: Jane Whitelaw & Kate Cole – How to spot a fake. Is your respirator up to standard? Sponsor - Air-Met Scientific
Jane is a Certified Occupational Hygienist, Certified Industrial Hygienist and Fellow of the AIOH with over 25 years experience and is the Co-ordinator of the Occupational Hygiene Program at the University of Wollongong. She chairs the AIOH RESPFIT Accreditation Committee and is a member of the Australian Standards Committee AS/NZS 1715 & 1716 on Respiratory Protective Equipment. Jane's research interests are in Protecting Worker Health from Chemical and Physical Hazards, and her major grants and research have been in evaluating the Efficacy of Respiratory protection. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Wollongong in the Faculty of Medicine.
Kate is an Engineer and Certified Occupational Hygienist who has worked in the construction industry for almost two decades on projects both in Australia and internationally. Named as one of the Top 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review, a Winston Churchill Fellow, and one of Science & Technology Australia's Superstars of STEM, Kate is a passionate advocate for preserving the health of Australian workers.
There has been a surge in demand for P2 respirators for use against airborne pollutants during the recent extensive bushfires and more immediately against the transmission of CoV-SARS-2. This has resulted in an increase of non-compliant respirators entering the supply chain. Identifying non-compliant products presents challenges for businesses purchasing respirators for their workers, as the processes and checkpoints that provide compliance can be complex. This presentation will provide some simple steps that you can take to help determine if your respirator is up to standard.
Session 11: Mila Tejamaya - Risk Perception on COVID-19 in Indonesia During the First Stage of the Pandemic
Mila Tejamaya, SSi, MOHS, PhD is lecturer and researcher at Department of Occupational Health and Safety, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Indonesia since 2008. She is also Head of OHS Bachelor Study Program at Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Indonesia. Her research interest is within health and safety risk assessment, both at industrial and public level; as well as toxicology study. In professional association, she is acting as the President of Indonesian Industrial Hygiene Association (IIHA), from 2019-2021
Currently, COVID-19 is a global pandemic which has disrupted not only the health of communities but also the socio-economic state of the world. In Indonesia, on the 24th April 2020, confirmed COVID-19 cases had reached 8,155, mainly concentrated at eight largest provinces. Perception of COVID-19 amongst Indonesian citizens were studied. An online questionnaire was developed by following a standard questionnaire on risk perception of an infectious disease outbreak (ECOM, 2015) and distributed through social media on first week of May 2020, 2 months after the 1st case in Indonesia.1,067 respondents participated in this study. It was found that the respondents of this study showed a good level of knowledge on COVID-19. Although their perception on the severity, seriousness and number of confirmed cases were high, they showed a moderate extent of anxiety. Moreover, the respondents showed a positive perception of COVID-19 prevention and control. Associated factors such as gender, age, educational background, and occupation were investigated.
Session 13: Philip Turner - Impacts of Heavy Bushfire Smoke on Sydney Workplaces (2019-2020)
Philip is a certified occupational hygienist (COH) with more than 25 years of experience.His qualifications include Applied Chemistry (UTS) and Safety Science (UNSW). He is a certified fire & and smoke restoration technician (FSRT) with Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
Heavy bushfire smoke impacted workplaces in Sydney, regional New South Wales, and many other parts of Australia during 2019-2020. Advice for workplaces was issued by SafeWork NSW. Regional monitoring data from the EPA was available, but was not always useful at specific sites. On site airborne particle testing was conducted using aerosol photometers, with a calibration factor for ambient air. These instruments were configured to send SMS alerts at pre-set alarm levels. Advice on hazardous smoke levels (as PM2.5) has been issued by environmental authorities. Outdoor smoke exposure can be controlled by work scheduling, or respiratory protective equipment (RPE). Indoor smoke can be controlled by the use of recirculating air purifiers with HEPA (high efficiency) filters. After the event, surface smoke deposition can be tested by wipe testing, or micro-vacuum sampling with subsequent optical microscopy.
Session 15: William O'Callaghan - Identification and Management of Hexavalent Chromium Dust Exposure on gas turbines in the LNG Industry | Sponsor - CAC Gas & Instrumentation
Occupational hygienist with almost 20 years experience working in the fields of consulting, general heavy industry, mining and the last 10 years in the Oil and Gas industry.
The presence of carcinogenic hexavalent chromium in the combustion deposits on the gas turbines in the LNG industry has recently gathered a lot of attention as it relates to potential exposure to maintenance workers when performing routine engine change outs and servicing. This presentation is a case study of how the issue was first identified in our onsite turbines during routine servicing, the immediate response, sampling methods used to identify Cr(VI) as well as the controls put in place to manage exposure.
Session 17: Melanie Windust - Effectively removing mercury contamination in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production systems
Melanie is an innovative Occupational Hygienist with experience in a diverse and complex range of industries including major hazard facilities, aviation, mining, dangerous goods, logistics, oil, and gas, regulatory and manufacturing, at union and non-union sites. She has been a COH for nearly 20 years and has vast experience in chemical and hygiene risk management, baseline risk assessments, monitoring program development and working with businesses to develop effective solutions.
Mercury is a highly toxic, naturally occurring element encountered in various chemical and elemental forms throughout nearly all Oil and Gas production and processing systems. The Presence of mercury creates substantial health, safety and environmental issues that reduce efficiencies in maintenance activities and considerably add to costs in demolition. Understanding accumulation, distribution, and the sorption dynamics of mercury throughout process is instrumental in the application of improved chemical decontamination and waste management techniques used during plant turnarounds and the clean out of gas processing equipment. This paper aims to address these issues in the oil and gas industry by utilising cutting edge chemistry to remove the mercury up to 99%. The outcomes benefit the environment and people who are maintaining plant and equipment that previously was mercury contaminated. This technology is transferable to other industries that contain mercury contaminated equipment.
Session 19: Andrea Herring – That was then and this is now – things I never thought I would know about but should have!
Andrea Herring has been a Registered Nurse for over 35years, having graduated from Westmead Hospital in early 1985. Andrea has held a variety of clinical, educational and leadership roles at Hospital, District and State level in the NSW Health System and is currently the Head of Clinical Operations Support for CareFlight. CareFlight is a Charity that delivers Aero-medical Retrieval and Transport Services for a variety of Government and Non-Government contracts and services. CareFlight clinicians provide lifesaving treatment and transport in helicopters, fixed wing aircraft and jets and road transport vehicles. Her clinical speciality areas of interest are trauma, critical care, aeromedical retrieval and disaster management and particularly systems, teams and human factors for patient safety. Andrea has published in international peer reviewed journals, was an original member of the Australian Emergency Nursing Journal Editorial Committee, has co-authored a book chapter on Trauma Systems and currently reviews papers for the International Journal “Injury”. Andrea has presented at and been an invited speaker at many local and national meetings on trauma systems/trauma management and education for clinicians, both in hospitals and within the aeromedical retrieval environment. Andrea has had a long-standing interest in simulation-based education, particularly team training, human factors and communication skills. Andrea is not an expert in infection prevention and control however she does have responsibility for ensuring the highest standards are maintained within CareFlight’s clinical operations and this includes protection for CareFlight’s clinicians.
As a health care worker with over 35 years’ experience, this year I have learnt about masks, respirators, reusable, disposable, the difference between N, R and P ratings, enveloped viruses, how to kill viruses, scientific details about particle sizes and respiratory spreading of viruses, airflows in aircraft that impact droplet spread, aerosolization, inconsistencies in the scientific evidence base, the National Standards for Respiratory Protection Programs, Occupational Hygienists, the TGA and the ARTG and masks/respirators, procurement channels, identification of counterfeit product, how to effectively clean your helicopter/plane/jet and all things COVID!……I am but a humble nurse, I wish I had known all this before COVID! This presentation will attempt to describe the realisation that Health and healthcare worker respiratory protection was perhaps not meeting the standards afforded other industries and how we rapidly had to adjust our thinking and our staff protection programs amidst a confusing, inconsistent and rapidly changing policy and regulatory environment.
Wednesday 2 December
Session 21: Opening Speaker: Thomas Fuller - Infection control for OHS Professionals | Sponsor - Draeger Australia Pty Ltd
Dr. Thomas P. Fuller has over 39 years of experience in occupational safety, radiation protection, emergency planning, industrial hygiene, infection control, and chemical hygiene. He has experience in healthcare, nuclear power plants, labor organizations, biopharmaceutical labs, manufacturing, and universities. He is currently Professor of Occupational Safety and Health at Illinois State University. Tom is the President-Elect of the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) and Chair of the IOHA Education Committee. He is a member of the recently created American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) COVID-19 Ad Hoc Response Team and the AIHA Healthcare Working Group.Dr. Fuller is a member since 2002, and twice Chair, of the AIHA Nonionizing Radiation Committee.As a member of the International Commission on Occupational Health he serves on the Industrial Hygiene Committee and the Working Group on Infectious Occupational Agents. Tom is also on the board of the Occupational Hygiene Training Association.
In the 2012 version of the World Health Organizations “Prevention of hospital-acquired infections-A practical guide” the recommended infection control team listed everyone from laundry service, housekeeping, and food service to physicians, pharmacists and nurses. Nowhere in the 72-page document did they mention the need for an occupational hygienist. With hospital acquired infection rates in industrialized countries ranging from 2-15 percent, and occupational exposures to hazardous infectious agents leading to significantly elevated illness in healthcare workers, the capabilities and knowledge of occupational hygienists is a greatly underutilized resource. Industrial hygiene methods of evaluation and control can be implemented in a number of technical areas that can substantially reduce both patient and worker infections, illnesses, and associated costs. In light of the recent COVID-19 global pandemic the need for ongoing input and service in occupational hygiene has become even more apparent. This presentation will provide an overview of where we have come from, and identify the roles occupational hygienists need to fill, in order to become part of the ongoing and permanent infection control team in health care moving forward.
Session 23: Ross Di Corleto and Ian Firth - Developing a pragmatic approach to occupational health risk assessment monitoring | Sponsor ADE Consulting Group Pty Ltd
Ross first became involved in health & safety in the power generation industry over 35 years ago. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science, Post Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hygiene, a Master of Science by research and a PhD.
He is a certified hygienist, a fellow, past president and current president-elect of the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists. Ross is also a fellow of the Australian Institute of Health and Safety and an adjunct associate professor at the University of Queensland and Griffith University.
His areas of particular interest include the thermal environment and OH management systems.
Ross is currently the Principal Consultant at Monitor Consulting Services based in Brisbane.
Ian is a respected HSE professional with extensive senior management experience in occupational health management. He has over 40 years experience, with a quarter of his work experience in environmental sciences and the rest in occupational hygiene. Occupational hygiene work has involved workplace environment assessment in hard rock mining settings and in smelting in the zinc/lead and aluminium industries. During the last 15 years of his career with a multi-national mining and minerals company, he conducted extensive reviews and audits of world-wide operations and provided coaching and training to working hygienists as well as standards and occupational hygiene guidance development. Ian is a Fellow of the AIOH as well as being a Certified Occupational Hygienist (COH).
Over the years the approach to hygiene monitoring has been largely based on the assumption of homogeneous similar exposure groups (SEGs). As workers multi-skill, SEGs are becoming more diverse and the monitoring data increasingly larger. This in turn is leading to high levels of variation in the data. Is too much time now being spent sampling to achieve better uniformity to meet perceived compliance requirements or is there a more pragmatic approach that can re-focus the hygienists time back to field assessments and control management rather than data collection?
Session 25: Tracey Tjahjadi - Utilisation of real time dust monitoring to manage dust in quarries | Sponsor - Thermo Fisher Scientific
I am a chemical engineer in Boral's graduate program within their Quarries and Recycling division. I've been involved in dust monitoring across several sites, which has introduced me to the world of occupational hygiene. I'm passionate about keeping people safe and healthy at work, and making a worthwhile contribution to improving working conditions. I'm keen to learn more about the role of occupational hygienists!
Using real-time dust monitors in quarries provides a better understanding of how dust is generated on site and the ways in which workers are exposed to dust. Combining the data collected from real-time dust monitors with video footage gives valuable insights to both the management team and workers, encouraging collaboration and input from all levels to find suitable solutions and understand the dust environment they are working in. Compared to traditional monitoring methods, the ability to obtain real-time information allows for sites to quickly establish current working conditions and make well assessed decisions and improvements. Targeted control measures can be developed then swiftly implemented and tested for effectiveness, new activities monitored, and site specific dust maps generated. It is proving to be an extremely useful tool to assist with dust management and reduce worker exposure, which is of considerable focus within the quarrying industry, especially during the present time.
Session 27: Cameron Fackler - Hearing protection for impulsive noise
Cameron Fackler, Ph.D., is an Acoustical Engineer with 3Mâ€™s Personal Safety Division where he conducts research and development for the next generation of hearing protection devices. He is especially interested in hearing protection for impulsive noise and fit testing of hearing protectors for individual users. Cameron is a member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) working group on hearing protector attenuation and has contributed to the development of standards for assessing the performance of hearing protection devices in continuous and impulsive noises. He is a member of and has presented his research on hearing protection devices at meetings of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA).
Impulsive noise presents unique challenges for hearing conservation, with peak sound pressure levels that may be 170 dB or higher. In addition to the very high peak levels, many impulsive noise exposures are interspersed with periods of relative quiet, where situational awareness or the ability to hear low-level sounds like speech may be important. This presentation will define impulsive noise and discuss challenges for measuring and characterizing impulsive noises. Hearing protection for impulsive noise and the measurement of impulsive noise attenuation will be explored. Finally, pros and cons of various types of hearing protectors for impulsive noise will be discussed, including how some types may provide impulsive attenuation along with enhanced situational awareness.
Session 29: Closing Speaker: Greg Whiteley - The role of hand hygiene and COVID-19 personal safety | Sponsor - Rio Tinto
Dr Greg Whiteley is the Executive Chairman of Whiteley Corporation. Dr Whiteley is also an Adjunct Fellow in the School of Medicine at Western Sydney University. Dr Whiteley has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Health) (Hawkesbury Agricultural College), a Master of Safety Science (UNSW), a Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors (UNE) and a PhD (WSU). Dr Whiteley has authored over 37 peer reviewed publications and is a frequently invited international speaker on surface hygiene and validation.Dr Whiteley is a Fellow of Environmental Health Australia, a Member of the Australian Society of Microbiology, and a Member of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Session 22: Liam Wilson - Critical Risk Control: The Journey Continues
Certified Occupational Hygienist with over 25 years experience in Australia and Internationally working across a broad range of commodities.
Following papers and presentations by Ross DiCorleto in 2015, "Bowties and Half Windsors: The evolving face of managing critical health risk in mining" and an update in 2018, "The evolving face of managing critical health risk in industry", this presentation provides an overview as the journey continues. The presentation looks at the next evolution of the integration of Critical Risk Management for Health with Safety and down to a job/task based level, providing the operator/maintainer with one tool to check controls are in place to effectively manage exposure risk.
Candice is an experienced Occupational Health and Hygiene professional and Certified Occupational Hygienist. Her work in the mining industry over the past 11 years spans across projects, construction, operations, underground, ports and rail networks. Adopting a holistic approach to her work, she has honed her skills in project management and partnering with multidisciplinary teams.
Candice is passionate about driving better worker health outcomes through continuous improvement, harnessing technology and a strong focus on stakeholder engagement. Recently, her work has centered on the effective application of real-time and video technologies to ensure critical controls are in place to protect worker health.
The problem: Pressure for workplaces to become more agile and responsive to evolving customer and economic demands has led to significant changes in job role requirements. Increasingly, work occurs across multiple areas and tasks, with mutli-skilled workers contributing to improved operational efficiency. As a result, similar exposure group (SEG) sampling results can be highly variable, making it difficult to identify the underlying cause of high exposures and recommend effective controls. A new approach to exposure assessment: Real-time exposure and video monitoring enables a shift in focus from SEGs to high exposure areas and tasks, along with the identification of exposure sources for the development of effective controls. The technology is practical and versatile with occupational hygiene applications including: mapping high exposure areas and tasks; prioritising control measures; assessing control effectiveness; investigating sampling exceedances, developing job role profiles; informing training packages and combining multiple inputs for holistic personal exposure assessment. Key Benefits (immediate and evolving): This technology is more efficient and visual than traditional techniques for exposure and control assessments. The outputs enable clear and effective communication, training and feedback for stakeholders and inform the development of control solutions to drive better worker health outcomes. Real-time and video exposure assessment technology is an essential, accessible tool that enables occupational hygienists to become more effective and responsive in todayâ€™s rapidly evolving workplaces.
Session 26: Luke Ripper - Raising workers' awareness of respirable dust exposure using real-time monitoring and video analysis
Luke holds a degree in Exercise Science, Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety and a Masters in Occupational hygiene and Toxicology. Luke is a certified occupational hygienist with GCG, and is currently the Occupational Hygiene Team Leader for the SEQ Operations. He has been working in occupational hygiene since 2009 following a career in Exercise Science. Over his career Luke has worked in mining, manufacturing, aerospace, defence, construction. Luke currently provides corporate occupational hygiene oversight to multiple top 200 ASX listed companies. More recently Luke has taken on the role of Managing the occupational hygiene program on the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project in Brisbane.
The exposures of workers to respirable dust (specifically the crystalline silica component) can have a significant impact on workers’ health. Traditional, and legislatively mandated, monitoring for respirable dust and crystalline silica has been undertaken by sampling in the worker breathing zone over the period of a worker’s shift providing a Time Weighted Average (TWA) result based on the volume of air sampled.Whilst the sample provides a result that may be compared to the relevant Workplace Exposure Standard (WES) it does not provide any information as to the events that occurred during the monitoring period.Samples taken in the traditional sense must be sent away to a lab and analysed before results will be known. Worker’s understanding of what risks are associated with their activities and how to control them, is essential to enhance their health and safety. A variety of applied training methods have been utilised within the wider industry, and the common method of using a training class has been found to have a limited effect due to a number of factor. Hence, more specific training is needed to increase awareness and educate the workers about their exposure. To address the pitfalls in training models that primarily rely on classroom based or after the fact training. By undertaking a sampling and training procedure whereby sampling is undertaken for respirable dust using a real time monitor and a personnel video recording device (GoPro) which recorded the subjects tasks for the duration of the sampling period. The information gathered from both devices can be combined using a software package (EVADE). This information when analysed, with the help of the worker to identify the activities/work captured on the video that co-insides with measured respirable dust levels. This evaluated video and data can then be used to educate the workers and work group around the high exposure tasks by being able to both graphically and visually demonstrate the impact certain tasks have on exposure. Through this education process it is expected that workers will have an increased awareness of the sources of exposure to respirable dust and thus present with either a change in behaviour or a greater intention to change in adverse and hazardous behaviour (as it relates to respirable dust exposure).
Session 28: David Warrington - Sound Education - Getting the right message to the right people in occupational noise
An acoustic engineer for over 30 years, I've spent many years working in occupational and environmental noise in Western Australia, providing training, consulting, and technical support to occupational hygienists, environmental health officers, consultants, industry and government.
After 8 years at the University of Salford Department of Applied Acoustics researching noise in the military environment, a move to Perth in 1997 broadened my experience and interest in workplace noise, and for over 20 years I've presented the DMIRS-approved Noise Officer Course and a range of other short courses in both occupational and environmental noise.
Occupational noise-induced hearing loss (ONIHL) has been the most prevalent workplace illness in Australia for decades. We know how noise damages hearing, we know the human and financial costs, and we know what to do about it in many cases - yet the incidence of ONIHL continues unchecked. Why is this? There are many reasons why noise is commonly overlooked as a hazard and a major cultural shift is required to significantly reduce exposures. This presentation identifies some of the barriers to improvement and suggests some paths forward.
COVID-19 disease is caused by a transmissible Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). This virus has jumped species and is rapidly adaptable. The virus has good environmental stability and is easily picked up on hands from contaminated surfaces or when an infected person is in close personal contact with an unifected person (touch). Once on the hands of an uninfected person, the virus can find its way to the intended receptor cells, most frequently in the mouth, oral palate, nasal lining or eyes. That’s because most of us touch our faces at least 20 to 40 times every hour. There is complexity in the selection of Hand Sanitiser because the regulatory arrangements are disjointed. There are five separate options for hand hygiene. At the top end are TGA registered products with high levels of certainty over safety and efficacy. At the other end at products which do not have any mandated requirements for either safety or efficacy. At this end, the products can fit into either the Industrial Chemicals bandwidth, or the Cosmetic products requirements. Ironically, it is illegal to make virucidal claims on any Hand Hygiene product. This presentation will review the science on hand hygiene and spread of infectious organisms via unwashed hands. There will be an outline of the regulatory arrangements and clarity given on expected product performance and appropriate pathways for hand hygiene compliance in the workplace.
Thursday 3 December
Session 30: Opening Speaker: Francesco Turci – New molecular understanding of the toxicity of crystalline silica | Sponsor OHMS Hygiene
Francesco Turci is Assistant Professor (tenure track) of General and Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Torino, Italy. FT graduated in Chemistry in 2001 and obtained in 2005 a PhD degree in Chemical Sciences with a thesis on the hazard of asbestos minerals naturally occurring in the Western Alps. From 2015, he is deputy director of the “G. Scansetti” Center for Studies on Asbestos and Other Toxic Particulates of the University of Torino.His scientific activity is mainly aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of the toxicity of inorganic micro- and nanometric particulate matter, with particular attention to asbestos, silica, and metal oxides of industrial interest. FT has been an invited visiting scientist at Université de la Nouvelle Calédonie (UNC) to study fibrous antigorite in natural and occupational settings in New Caledonia. He was awarded with an EU-funded transnational grant to investigate the nano-biointerface of crystalline silica at the University College of Dublin (UCD), Ireland and has been a visiting student at the Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic, USA.
Inhalation of respirable crystalline silica (RCS) may result in silicosis and/or lung cancer. The extreme variability of silica forms, depending on their source and preparation methods, has so far hindered a comprension of the molecular mechanisms that trigger such negative outcomes. Using a set of synthetic and natural quartz samples, we have now identified a unique subfamily of surface moieties that sit on the quartz surface and act as the determinant of silica particle toxicity. These moieties, namely pairs of "nearly-free silanols" (NFS), appear on the surface of quartz particles when crystals are fractured, and their amount can be modulated by thermal treatments. The peculiar spatial arrangement of these surface species was demonstrated to be the initiating event in the lytic interaction between quartz and cell membrane components and initiated RCS toxicity in vivo.
Session 32: Maggie Davidson - Occupational Respiratory Hazards in the Hemp & Emerging Medicinal Cannabis Industries
Dr Maggie Davidson is an occupational hygienist working as Lecturer/Researcher in the School of Science Western Sydney University. Maggie is also a researcher with the Australian Medicinal Cannabis Research and Education Collaboration, and adjunct researcher at Edith Cowan University. Current research projects include Farm to Pharmacy; promoting occupational health and safety in the emerging Australian cannabis industry; Exposure of Workers to Respirable Crystalline Silica during Wet Processing of Engineered Stone; Noise Exposure in University Call Centres; Biological Hazards Associated with Thermal Comfort Water Misting Systems and Pro-Inflammatory Potential of Plant Dusts and Infection Control in the Nail Industry.
Early studies of the hemp fibre production demonstrate a relationship between inhalable dust exposure and respiratory conditions such as byssinosis, chronic asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). More recently, attention has focused on the allergenic properties of C. sativa L. pollen exposure, as well as healthy and safety hazards on outdoor recreational cannabis farms in the United States. It is evident that there are multiple biological, physical and chemical hazards associated with cannabis cultivation and manufacturing procedures, some that are inherently unique to the plant. A greater understanding of the aetiological properties of medicinal otherwise referred to as drug or hybrid type, C. sativa L. containing greater than 0.35% delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content is required to determine if exposure control is required, including the development of an occupational exposure limit (OEL). Recently there has been a rapid development of the international medicinal and recreational commercial cannabis industry. The downgrading of Cannabis sativa L. to a controlled substance, in many countries, when prepared or packed for human therapeutic use, has heralded the introduction of a the medicinal cannabis industry. This presentation will present the toxicology of potential exposures in the hemp and related medicinal cannabis industries.
Session 34: Claire Di Corleto - Development of a Thermal Risk Assessment Tool for Courier Drivers
Claire Di Corleto is an Occupational Hygienist who has been working in the fields of Occupational Hygiene, Health and Safety for eight years predominantly in the resources sector. She has worked in both underground and open-cut mining and is completing her Masters of Occupational Hygiene and Toxicology at Edith Cowan University. Claire is currently employed at an occupational health and hygiene consultancy based in Brisbane.
In the United States, there have been fatalities and hospitalisations associated with heat-related illnesses within the rapidly growing courier delivery service. This study investigated the potential contributing factors, such as airflow, temperatures, and colour on vehicles. Courier services however do more than just drive as part of the work. Each delivery is unique due to the variations in the manual handling requirements with regards to package dimensions, weight and carry distances. This will also impact on the metabolic load and subsequently on the thermal balance. If not managed correctly, this could lead to heat-related illnesses. Parameters were measured using multiple WBGT monitors and an anemometer. This information was utilised to model the physiological impact using a rational index. The results have been used to develop a risk assessment tool based on the AIOH Basic Thermal Risk Assessment model. The modified assessment has been designed to cater specifically for the courier driver and their tasks.
Session 36: Blesson Varghese - Heat Exposure and Safety
Dr Blesson Varghese is an early career researcher in the field of public health and is an epidemiologist with specific interests in environmental and occupational health. Blesson has a background in Health Science (Public Health) with First Class Honours and recently completed his PhD within the School of Public Health at the University of Adelaide. His PhD project titled "Worker's Health and Safety at High Temperatures: new perspectives on injury prevention", part of a multi-institutional Australian Research Council (ARC) grant examined the impacts of extreme heat on work-related injuries in Australia. His research interests include work-related injury epidemiology and prevention, climate change, workplace heat exposure, and infectious diseases. He has extensive experience conducting research using large administrative surveillance datasets and surveys. His recently completed work at the Bureau of Meteorology examined the correlations between demographic profiles, dwelling profiles, existing health risks factors, and the human health impacts of heatwaves. Currently he is part of a team examining the burden of disease of climate-sensitive or heat-attributable diseases and injuries in Australia.
Hot working conditions can lead to heat-related illness and increase the risk of physical injuries. To better understand the injury phenomenon, mixed-methods research was undertaken using workers’ compensation claims, national online surveys of workers, health and safety professionals and representatives, interviews with workers, and a telephone complaints database. This paper integrates the findings into a conceptual model of psycho-behavioural and physiological changes in workers induced by heat stress. Injury risk factors relate to work, worker and workplace. The qualitative evidence indicates limited awareness of injury mechanisms in hot weather. In contrast to traditional risk factors for heat-related illness, risk factors for injury include interacting hazards in particular tasks; altered work practices, vigilance and reduced use of PPE as a result of heat exposure, dehydration and fatigue; and moderately hot conditions rather than extreme heat representing the greatest injury burden, in indoor as well as outdoor environments. Injuries, themselves, are diverse including traumatic injury and chemical-related injury, leading to extensive misclassification in current injury reporting systems. Importantly, heat-related injuries, such as falls from height or hand injuries, can occur before the onset of frank heat illness.
Session 38: Jennifer Hines - Adding Maintenance of Engines to your Control Toolkit
Dr Jennifer Hines is a Certified Occupational Hygienist with over 20 years’ industry experience in the mining, manufacturing and Defence sectors. She has a Masters in Occupational Hygiene and a PhD from the University of Wollongong. She is currently a consultant Occupational Hygienist and an academic at the University of Wollongong. Reducing worker exposure to contaminants in the underground mining environment has been a focal point of her career.
A particular aspect Jennifer has focussed on is controlling diesel exhaust emissions through maintenance of diesel engines, and importantly how this reduces the exposure risk to the workers. She has conducted significant work on proving there can be a significant reduction in employee exposures to diesel emissions and substantial savings in fuel use by conducting emissions based maintenance on diesel engines. This double benefit provides added incentive for companies to adopt emissions based maintenance.
There are many widely used and effective controls to reduce worker exposure to diesel emissions.Recent research has proven that implementing an Emissions Based Maintenance (EBM) system is a doable and realistic control for limiting occupational exposure to diesel particulate matter (DPM) at mine sites.This control falls within the engineering category of the Hierarchy of Control as changes are made to the engine and/or exhaust system to reduce the contaminants exiting the exhaust before it reaches the workers. This presentation will briefly cover findings of a site based, practical research project where EBM was implemented at one site, compared to a control site where no additional maintenance was conducted.Included will be strategies on how a similar control system can be duplicated elsewhere and other useful tactics can be employed to reduce DPM exposure. DPM and reducing diesel exhaust is the focus of significant research.There are numerous ways to reduce and quantify diesel exhaust.EBM is one practical, inexpensive method that has been proven to be successful.
Session 40: Robin Burgess-Limerick - Continuous Monitoring of whole-body vibration associated with surface mining equipment
Robin Burgess-Limerick is Professor of Human Factors in the Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre, Sustainable Minerals Institute, at The University of Queensland. Robin is a Certified Professional Ergonomist, past-president, and Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia.
Long term exposure to high-amplitude whole-body vibration is associated with adverse health effects, especially back pain. Operators of surface mining equipment are known to be exposed to whole-body vibration. Vibration amplitudes experienced by operators are dynamic, a function of equipment design; seat design, condition and adjustment; roadway or ground conditions; vehicle maintenance; activity being undertaken; and operator behaviour. Ad hoc measurements are consequently of limited utility in assisting mines to manage exposures to the hazard. This paper describes the background to the design and implementation of hardware and software which enable continuous monitoring of floor and seat accelerometer installed in earth-moving equipment at a Queensland coal mine. The data have potential to enable evidence-based decisions regarding the implementation of control measures
Session 31: Preeti Maharjan - Biosolubility of Engineered Stone in Simulated Lung Fluids
I am Preeti Maharjan originally from Nepal, a country of mountains. I am a postgraduate public health student at The University of Adelaide under Australia Award Scholarship by the Department of Foreign Aid and Trade. I have a keen interest in occupational and environmental health. Prior to this, I completed my degree in Medical Microbiology and worked in a Mycobacterial Research Laboratories located in Nepal, under The Leprosy Mission UK for 4.5 years as Research Technical Officer. I worked in the community and laboratory research projects on neglected tropical diseases such as Leprosy and helminths.
Background: Engineered stone (ES) workers have increased rates of silicosis and scleroderma. Notably accelerated silicosis has been observed and thought to be related to ES constituents such as crystalline silica and binding resin. The aetiology of ES-related silicosis initially involves interaction of stone dust with interstitial and intracellular lung fluids. There appears to be no reported biosolubility study of ES dusts. The aim of this study was to investigate the biosolubility of engineered stone dusts, of variable composition, including both high and low resin content. Method : A range of engineered stone dust samples, obtained by low temperature comminution of commercial ES, were reacted with simulated lung fluids (SLF), namely artificial lysosomal fluid (ALF) and Gambles solution, for periods of 3 hours, 1 week, 2 weeks and 4 weeks. Changes in organic and inorganic content of SLF and stone dust were assessed. Results: Early findings indicated that the degree and type of metal ions release varied with engineered stone type and the type of SLF. In general, greater changes were observed with ALF, likely due to lower pH and a greater potential for metal chelation. Conclusion: A systematic investigation of the engineered stone dust is required to understand the pathogenesis of accelerated silicosis.
Session 33: Hannah Menzies – Indoor environment quality in a dental facility assessment of indoor air quality, lighting and noise
Hannah Menzies has followed a career pathway of promoting and protecting worker health since completing an undergraduate degree in Exercise and Health Science. With an initial focus on an encouragement of an active and injury free lifestyle for the general population, she has transitioned into the workplace health and safety arena with experience in the resources, aviation, and healthcare industries. Following the observations of the effects of workplace injury and disease on the individual, she was encouraged to enrol in the Master of Occupational Hygiene and Toxicology through Edith Cowan University. She is in the final stages of completing her research project for the Masters degree while currently working as a Work Health Safety Consultant for the Top End Health Service, Northern Territory Government.
Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) is a term that refers to the quality of a buildings environment in relation to the health and wellbeing of the buildings occupants. The health and financial benefits of a healthy indoor environment have been well documented and linked to occupant productivity and wellbeing. Components of indoor environment quality include air quality, lighting and noise. Activities undertaken in a dental facility have been demonstrated to contribute worker exposures with possible detrimental health effects including particle and Total Volatile Organic Compound (TVOC) generation, noise and lighting. While various studies have looked at worker exposures to these various components, so far there are no studies that look at all factors of indoor environment quality. This paper will present the findings of exposure monitoring that was undertaken in a dental facility in Darwin, to determine exposures of workers to indoor air contaminants, noise and lighting.
Session 35: Jacques Oosthuizen - Occupational heat stress among outdoor workers in Africa and Australia | Sponsor - Edith Cowan University
Jacques Oosthuizen is a certified occupational hygienist and the Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health at Edith Cowan University in Perth. Jacquesâ€™s graduated from an undergraduate program in Environmental Health, with a major in Occupational Hygiene and he subsequently obtained a post graduate qualification in education, a Master of Medical Science and a PhD in the occupational / environmental health field. In 1999 Jacques was appointed as a lecturer and at Central Queensland University and in 2001 he relocated to Perth and has been at ECU every since.
We have conducted several projects around climate change associated heat wave impacts and adaptation strategies of vulnerable populations of outdoor workers in Africa (Ghana and Zimbabwe). Occupational heat stress has also been assessed in the Australian resources sector with a focus on quantifying heat exposures of various occupational groups and the loss of acclimatisation status by fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers where their time spent at home is in a cool climate. Interventions such as ingestion of ice slurry to reduce core body temperature, protective clothing and heat exposure control of firefighters have been assessed. The results of this work will be presented with a focus on what can be learned from the different populations in terms of adapting to extreme heat wave events, particularly for outdoor workers.
Session 37: Graeme Matson - A 5-year cross sectional review of underground vehicle exhaust emissions (elemental carbon/nitrogen oxides) using de-identified data from 13 Western Australian underground mine sites.
I am an Occupational Hygiene Consultant for OHMS Hygiene and have been for the last 5 years. I am a Provisional member of the AIOH with a Bachelor of Health Science and am currently in my final semester of the Occupational Hygiene Masters course at RMIT University. Over the last 5 years I have worked with a range of clients within the mining sector and the oil and gas industry, which have provided many interesting experiences allowing me to continually develop as an Occupational Hygienist.
Mining regulations in Western Australia require that undiluted diesel engine exhaust is to be tested in underground mines. As a minimum this shall be at intervals of no more than 250 hours, or 1 month if no hour meter is present. As consultants OHMS Hygiene have been carrying out monthly diesel exhaust emissions testing for 13 sites across Western Australia between 2015-2020. This paper will review the de-identified data to determine trends in why sites are exceeding the limits for EC (Elemental Carbon) and NOx (Nitrogen Oxides), and what sites have done to manage the diesel engine exhaust emissions. This research will help organisations understand how they can reduce their diesel engine exhaust emissions and therefore prevent exposure to their underground miners.
Session 39: Holly Fletcher - Health of Chilean Mine Workers - Is it bad and how could it improve?
Holly Fletcher is a Certified Occupational Hygienist and holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master of Science, majoring in Occupational Hygiene Practice.
Holly has worked on major projects in various industries throughout Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Laos, including gas extraction, resource recovery,
complex contaminated land remediation and large-scale tunnelling and underground mine expansion projects.
In her Occupational Hygiene current role, Holly supports tunnel construction projects in Sydney, in particular, the delivery of the Sydney Metro Train System, Australiaâ€™s largest public transport infrastructure project.
Currently, Holly is a student at the University of Wollongong and is midway through completing a PhD investigating health interventions that improve health outcomes in Chilean mine workers.
This presentation communicates the results of mixed-methods research performed on Chilean mine workers for purposes of characterising risk factors that influence the status of workers health, along with identifying interventions that could improve the health of such mine workers.