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Fight to protect tradies suffering from preventable lung disease

NSW Labor are pushing for amendments to work health and safety legislation to protect stonemasons from the lung disease silicosis.

The bill introduces a number of preventative measures, including the establishment of a dust diseases register.

Silicosis sufferer and former stonemason Andrew Klohk told Jim Wilson he wants the government to “stop debating … [and] just get on with it”.

“We were told about [silicosis] at TAFE, however that’s as far as it’s ever gotten.

“More and more people out there … are going to end up with this if [the government] are not more proactive.”

NSW shadow finance minister Daniel Mookhey is behind the push, and accused the government of being slow to respond to an explosion in silicosis diagnoses.

He claims an annual average of three to four cases has shot up to 140 in 2020.

“This is an entirely preventable disease.

“NSW deserves the world’s toughest protections, to protect people like Andrew and … every one of the other 1700 stonemasons who are today cutting manufactured stone.”

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Image: Getty