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Beryllium in Defence

Defence is taking very seriously issues raised in the media about possible harmful exposure to Beryllium in the Defence workplace going back a number of years. In addition to the policy and processes currently in place for preventing exposure and for medical and other management of suspected or reported exposure, Defence has:

  • established a Beryllium Information Service (BIS) for concerned members and former ADF members, or the public to receive factual information and register their name as someone who was potentially exposed. The contact number for this service is 1800 DEFENCE (1800 333 362);
  • posted information about beryllium-related exposure on Defence websites;
  • conducted testing of pneumatic needle guns at the DSTO to assess the likelihood of exposure to beryllium dust arising from their use;
  • conducted detailed investigations to establish the facts about when and where the copper-beryllium needles were used, and establish other possible sources of beryllium-related exposure.

A Department of Veterans’ Affairs system is already in place for determining claims arising from beryllium exposure. A small number of cases have already been dealt with under this system.

For any corporate policy questions please email: WHS.COH@defence.gov.au