May 24, 2017
Labrador West Medical Audit Report Released
The Labrador West Medical Audit report by Horizon Occupational Health Solutions was released today by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The study monitored the effects of silica dust exposure at mining properties in Labrador West. Inhalation of silica dust can lead to Silicosis - a work-related lung disease that can develop after many years of inhaling silica dust in the air. The report can be viewed online at www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/ohs/safety_info/pdf/medical_audit_report_2017.pdf .
Horizon identified 11 recommendations to improve silica monitoring and protection for workers in the province’s mining industry. The Provincial Government accepts the recommendations, and has begun work with the project steering committee on the development of an action plan. Recommendations range from identifying requirements for regular audits of medical surveillance files from active employees to a review of the current Silica Code of Practice, which was adopted in 2006, to ensure medical surveillance sections are relevant to national and international best practices.
Horizon’s audit included a voluntary review of chest x-rays from retired and active employees. The study also included a review of the silica-related health surveillance program and hazard communications process at the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) Mine and Wabush Mines. The review found suspicion of silicosis in 35 participants, most of whom began work before the Silica Code of Practice was instituted in 2006. All participants have been notified of their results, and potentially affected individuals have been encouraged to follow up with their family physicians.
“I would like to thank those who cooperated in this audit. By participating, you have helped contribute to a better understanding of silica risks at work sites and a safer environment for current and future workers. I thank Horizon for their recommendations from this report, and will work with the steering committee to implement changes that will build upon the rigour of current Occupational Health and Safety regulatory requirements and practices.”
Honourable Perry Trimper
Minister of Service NL
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Labrador West Medical Audit – Horizon Occupational Health Solutions www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/ohs/safety_info/pdf/medical_audit_report_2017.pdf
Silica Code of Practice – www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/ohs/silica_code_of_practice.pdf
2017 05 24 10:15 a.m.