WorkSafe Victoria has charged Boral resources with six separate offences under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for exposing workers to crystalline silica at its Montrose quarry site.
As per WorkSafe, the charges are:
- Two contraventions of section 21(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, when it failed to provide and maintain systems of work that were, so far as was reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.
- Contravening section 21(2)(e) of the OHS Act, when it failed to supervise workers to enable them to perform their work in a way that was safe and without risks to health.
- Three contraventions of section 26 of the OHS Act, when it failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that the workplace and the means of entering and leaving it were safe and without risk to health.
WorkSafe Victoria undertook an investigation at the quarry between January 2016 and November 2019.
WorkSafe alleges that Boral failed to implement appropriate control measures, including respiratory protective equipment to reduce the risk of exposure to dust at the site.
Further, it is alleged that the company failed to control the risk despite having obtained air monitoring results which showed that the dust at the site contained respirable crystalline silica in excess of the Workplace Exposure Standards – standards which are utilised to prevent serious injury or death by measuring the levels of airborne contaminants.
The case is scheduled for a filing hearing in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court later this month.