SafeWork SA has released its report on a recently conducted compliance campaign for businesses working with silica-containing materials, and made key recommendations and findings.
Between October 2020 and April 2021, SafeWorkSA undertook an extensive compliance campaign focused on respirable crystalline silica exposure risks in the workplace, covering masons, construction and mining workers.
The campaign saw SafeWork SA conducted 199 site visits and more than 71 audits for compliance. From those visits and audits, 102 statutory notices were issued where breaches of the WHS Legislation were identified, comprising of 95 improvement notices and 7 prohibition notices.
The blitz found that the largest area of non-compliance was the failure to complete air monitoring to ensure that controls in place were effectively minimising exposure of workers to respirable crystalline silica.
When compared against the 2019 audits, 25 fabricators achieved an increase in their compliance and maintenance of safe systems of work.
SafeWork SA expects to conduct a follow-up compliance audit later this year to ensure the SWMS (safe work method statements) for workplaces with higher risk factors are appropriate.