Spirometry Testing

Mobile Spirometry Testing for
occupational asthma + lung disease

Spirometry is an objective and reproducible test of lung function that measures how much and how quickly air can be moved into and out of the lungs. The measurements are made using a spirometer and live data logging software.

These measurements are the mainstay of the screening and management of workers at risk of occupational lung disease. Diseases such as occupational asthma, work aggravated asthma, Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS), fibrosis and asbestosis can be detected early using routine spirometry testing.

Occupational asthma is caused by a specific agent in the workplace and can affect people who have not previously been diagnosed with asthma. There are many different agents that can cause occupational asthma.

Safe Work Australia’s document “Health Monitoring for Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals” (2013) lists spirometry testing as part of the medical examination that should be undertaken to monitor your employee’s health and exposure levels.

Health surveillance is a legislative requirement if your employees are exposed to Asbestos or the Isocyanates group of chemicals, which are often used in the hardeners of two pack paints, such as vehicle or cabinet paints. They are also used in making foams.

If you or your employees perform the task of cutting roof tiles, there is a risk of exposure to crystalline silica, which again comes under the recommendations for health surveillance. Inhalation of very fine crystalline silica dust can also cause irreversible scarring of the lungs—a disease called silicosis.

The spirometry testing takes approximately 10 minutes per employee. The results are then reviewed and a report is generated with the results, and if required, recommendations for a referral will be advised for clinical diagnostic testing.

 

For more information and advice, please refer to the documents listed below:

AS/NZS 1716 Respiratory protective devices
AS/NZS 1715 Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective devices
Safe Work Australia – Health monitoring for exposure to hazardous chemicals

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