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With Australian Air quality being declared as “Very Unhealthy” in some parts of Australia and “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” in others (Refer to Air Quality Index map to see your location here) Worksafe have warned that exposure to airborne particles in smoke may cause coughing, shortness of breath and respiratory irritation, as some particles are small enough to get into the throat and lungs. Conditions such as asthma, heart or lung conditions may be worsened by exposure.
Worksafe have made the following recommendations to reduce the risks for those working outside or doing outdoor activities:
- If anyone is worried about their symptoms, they should see their doctor or call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024. Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness or difficulty breathing should seek urgent medical attention.
- The most effective way to control the risk of exposure to smoke is to avoid outdoor work on days where the air quality rating is poor, very poor or hazardous.
- Ordinary paper dust masks, handkerchiefs or bandannas should not be used. They do not filter out fine particles from bushfire smoke and therefore do not provide protection against health risks.
- When they are worn in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions, P2 (N95) face masks will filter out fine particulate matter. You can buy P2 masks from Medical Solution. (P2 Mask without Valve, P2 Mask with Valve)
For a comprehensive list of guidance on what level of physical activity is safe to do in different levels of air quality, and recommended respiratory protective equipment visit WorkSafe
It is important to seek medical help at the early warning signs and to not delay treatment.
From the Medical Solution Team we wish you good health and safety for 2020