The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) has announced its intention to conduct a review of selected malignant and non-malignant respiratory diseases and their relationships with occupational exposures.

The IIAC is the advisory body responsible for reviewing the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) scheme, which supports employees who are disabled as a result of an accident at work or the development of a prescribed disease caused by their work.

The IIAC currently lists 70 prescribed diseases in addition to the occupational exposures which might cause them. The review announced by the IIAC reflects the ongoing need to ensure the list of prescribed diseases reflects modern day working practices and evolving exposure risks. 

The review will focus primarily on lung cancer and COPD, and will involve a comprehensive review and evaluation of relevant literature, including epidemiology.

The first phase of the review will aim to identify those industries, occupations and exposures associated with respiratory diseases, before prioritising them with regard to the relative magnitude of risk, prevalence of exposure and severity of disease associated with each.

In the second phase, reviews of epidemiological literature will be updated or produced in relation to the priority areas identified in the first phase. In addition, in circumstances where there is clearly an increased risk of disease but not a doubling of the risk, relevant exposure data will be reviewed and collated.

As the IIAC relies on independent, peer-reviewed research to inform its determination of prescribed diseases, it now seeks expressions of interest from suitably qualified and experienced parties to competitively tender for participation in the review. More information can be found here.