About the registry
The Australian Government is setting up a National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry to record the type and extent of occupational respiratory diseases (ORDs) in Australia.
ORDs are respiratory diseases caused by hazards in a person's work or workplace. The National Dust Disease Taskforce recommended a registry to:
- understand how common and widespread ORDs are
- help reduce worker exposure.
In April 2022 the Australian and state and territory governments released their response to the final report of the National Dust Disease Taskforce.
All governments have committed to:
- reducing silicosis and other dust diseases among workers
- improving the quality of life for people affected and their families.
Reporting to the registry
We will require respiratory and occupational physicians to report all diagnoses of silicosis. They can choose to report other ORDs.
Voluntary reporting of other ORDs will be critical to identify new and emerging risks.
Over time, it may become mandatory to report additional ORDs. To make reporting a disease mandatory, we will consult with peak medical bodies and the states and territories.
Why it is important
The registry will help eliminate preventable ORDs by supporting earlier:
- prevention activities.
The aim of the registry is to capture and share data on workplace exposures and the number of ORDs in Australia. This will help us to:
- detect new and emerging threats to the health of workers
- understand the nature and extent of ORDs in Australia and their trends over time
- identify the industries, occupations, job tasks and workplaces that are at risk
- use targeted early intervention and prevention activities to reduce worker exposure and disease
- enhance preventative policy development, programs and decision‑making
- plan, deliver and promote health care and related services for ORDs
- share information with healthcare providers when providing ORD-related health care
- support research projects and identify opportunities for clinical trials or observations.
Legislation to establish the National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry is currently before the Parliament.
Who we work with
We set up a National Registry Build Advisory Group to provide advice during the build of the registry. This will ensure it provides the best possible client experience and delivers on its goals.
The advisory group includes representatives from the:
- Royal Australasian College of Physicians
- Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine
- Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand
- Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists
- Australasian Faculty of Occupational Environmental Medicine
- respiratory and occupational researchers
- state and territory health, and work health and safety agencies.
Use of registry information
We will share information in the registry with state and territory health agencies and work health and safety agencies.
They can use this data to:
- understand how widespread ORDs are in their state or territory
- help decide on ways to reduce worker exposure.
The information will also be available to ethics committee approved research projects to support ORD research into:
- the nature of ORDs and their risk factors
- incidence, prevalence and trends
- ways to reduce the risks to workers.
Existing state registers
State and territory representatives took part in the registry design process to align the data items and diseases with existing registers.
The national registry will not override existing state occupational disease registers. It will align with existing state registers to ensure a smooth transition for physicians.