World-first silicosis strategy launched in NSW

World-first silicosis strategy launched in NSW

Today the NSW Government launched a world-first trial of new tech, designed to more accurately monitor the levels of silica dust in the air that poses a risk to the health of NSW workers.

Kevin Anderson, the Minister for Better Regulation, explained that the detector can be used by workers in stone-cutting settings, or other areas where the risk of silica dust is likely to be high.

“We’re on a mission to stamp out silicosis in this state. This ground breaking device allows us, for the first time, to monitor exposure levels in real-time ensuring workers can remove themselves from harmful exposure before it’s too late,” Mr Anderson said.

“This Government puts the safety of its citizens first, and the NSW Government’s investment into developing this device will help give peace of mind for anyone working with manufactured stone.”

The new device is part of a comprehensive strategy implemented by the Berejiklian Government which is tackling the rising rates of dust diseases in the state, including asbestosis and silicosis.

The plan includes a ban on dry cutting, the reduction of legal exposure standards for silica exposure, marking silicosis as notifiable disease and establishing a dust diseases register to monitor and respond to incidences of dust diseases.

The plan, known as the NSW Dust Strategy 2020-22 works alongside the workplace safety regulator to ensure the controls are applied across the state and best practice principles are implemented and enforced on NSW worksites.

“We’ve consulted widely with unions, employers’ associations and the building and construction sector to develop a robust and practical strategy and look forward to working with industry to implement these principles and end dust diseases for good,” Mr Anderson said.

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