Resources for health professionals

This section provides a range of resources about hazardous substances, and the Hazardous Substances Disease and Injury Reporting Tool (HSDIRT).

These resources will be useful for all medical professionals, including GPs and other primary care health professionals, and the injury prevention sector.

Articles on hazardous substances

We have worked with bestpractice to develop a series of expert-author articles on a range of hazardous substances topics.  These are suited to a primary care audience.

Lead absorption notification levels have reduced 
Publication: Best Practice Journal, June 2021

Consider blue-green algal blooms this summer: Identifying and managing suspected cyanotoxin poisoning in primary care
Publication: Best Practice Journal, November 2020

Carbon monoxide poisoning: a hidden danger
Publication: Best Practice Journal, October 2019

Laboratory investigation of exposure to metals or other hazardous substances in the environment
Publication: Best Tests, November 2013
Lead author: Stephen du Toit

Pyrethroid toxicity and its management
Publication: Best Practice Journal, December 2013
Lead authors: Dr Michael Beasley and Dr Wayne Temple

Assessing and managing workplace exposure to chemicals
Publication: Best Tests, February 2014
Lead author: Dr Chris Walls (Occupational physican, Auckland)

Hazardous substances poisoning in children
Publication: Best Practice Journal, March 2014
Lead authors: Dr Mike Shepherd and Dr Stu Dalziel, Emergency Medicine, Starship Children’s Hospital)

Contact dermatitis: a ‘working’ diagnosis
Publication: Best Practice Journal, April 2014
Lead author: Dr Lissa Judd (occupational dermatologist, Wellington)

Articles on the Hazardous Substances Disease and Injury Reporting Tool (HSDIRT)

For all medical professionals

Lead absorption notification levels have reduced 
Health professionals should be aware of the new notifiable level (0.24 micromol/L) and be familiar with the electronic reporting via the Hazardous Substances Disease and Injury Reporting Tool (HSDIRT). 

pdficon small HSDIRT flyer
A flyer with a general reminder about HSDIRT notifications. The flyer is intended for primary care use, and is suitable as a small ‘poster’ within consulting rooms. For printed copies, contact us.  

New Zealand Public Health Surveillance Report (published by ESR)- December 2013, page 4-5
An article highlighting that all doctors must notify a Medical Officer of Health about disease and injury caused by hazardous substances. It includes a description of the HSDIRT notification system for primary care, and examples of hazardous substances.  This article is aimed at public health professionals and all primary care doctors. 

Prescriber Update (published by MedSafe)- December 2013, page 45
An article aimed at all doctors in New Zealand.  It highlights that all doctors must notify a Medical Officer of Health about disease and injury caused by hazardous substances.  Hazardous substances are defined, and the article describes how to notify a case.

For primary care health professionals

ePulse (weekly e-newsletter from the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners)- April 9 2014
A brief news item informing GPs that HSDIRT is available for use in all areas of NZ, and directly through three Practice Management Systems.  The article links through to the HSDIRT website.  ePulse is emailed to all RNZCGP members and over 500 sector stakeholders.

Short Takes (newsletter of the New Zealand Occupational Health Nurses Association)- December 2013, page 4
An article introducing the HSDIRT to nurses working in occupational health in New Zealand.  It informs them how to notify a case on behalf of a medical practitioner, if they are asked to do so.  It also explains what happens to the collected information.

For the injury prevention sector

Safeguard (occupational health and safety sector magazine)- March/April 2014, issue 144
An article introducing the hazardous substances injury notification requirements to the occupational health and safety sector.  It includes a section contrasting HSDIRT and the Notification of Occupational Disease System operated by Worksafe NZ. A sample issue can be ordered from the link above. You can also download a pdf of the Safeguard article about HSDIRT.

SafeKids News- December 2013, page 8
An article providing data on the causes of hazardous substances injuries in hospitalised children from 2006-2011.  It introduces HSDIRT, and explains how it aims to fill a gap in hazardous substances surveillance.  It explains how the data will be used. 


For questions relating to the Hazardous Substances Surveillance System (HSSS), please contact Shunnie Xie.

Phone: 0800 588 265


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