Media Release: A Good Health Report Card for the Australian Petroleum Industry

Media Release: A Good Health Report Card for the Australian Petroleum Industry

Publication date
02 Dec 2013
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2 December 2013

AIP and its member companies welcome the very encouraging results of the industry's 14th Health Watch Report released today by Monash University.

Overall, the Study clearly shows that petroleum industry employees have better health than the general Australian community and are less likely to die from cancer and from heart, respiratory and digestive diseases.

For over 33 years, the AIP has sponsored the independent Health Watch study to monitor the health of petroleum industry employees. Health Watch tracks the long term health of 20,000 past and current employees in the petroleum industry (during their industry employment and after they leave or retire), through a detailed analysis of job types, workplace practices, lifestyle influences, and illness and causes of death. The health of petroleum industry employees is then compared with data for the Australian community.

Health Watch provides valuable insights into the influences on the health of employees, such as the relationship between the incidence of various cancers and working in the industry, and the measurable effects of lifestyle on the health of employees. The findings of the study assist the industry in developing policies and workplace programs that are providing safe and healthy working environments for employees.

The latest Report builds on the results of the preceding thirteen reports in demonstrating that the chance of developing most types of cancer (cancer incidence) is no different for men and women in this industry compared with other Australians and where cancers do occur the overall cancer death rates in the petroleum industry workforce are significantly (30%) lower than in the general Australian population.

In terms of lifestyle factors influencing employee health, the latest Report shows that smoking has a powerful influence on ill health and mortality, and that quitting smoking noticeably reduces the risks.

The 14th Health Watch Report was undertaken by the Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, a leading international centre for epidemiological programs and collaborative research at Monash University.

AIP is committed to supporting Health Watch because it is highly valued by the petroleum companies and their employees and is an internationally respected study. The Study also provides a robust scientific basis for the community to understand the health impacts of exposure to petroleum products.