The first Australian trials of new tech aimed at detecting dangerous levels of respirable crystalline silica have begun in Sydney this month.
Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson explained that the technology will assist in identifying high levels of RCS at real-time speeds, working to prevent inhalation or exposure and preventing silicosis.
“This device will be instrumental in helping us to reduce silicosis in NSW, and I am proud that we are leading the way with this world-first technology,” Mr Anderson said.
“When we began this project there was nothing on the market that could accurately detect RCS instantly, so our world-first device will be a game changer for anyone working with stone.”
The new technology is different from existing products, which are largely prototypes, in that it accurately detects the RCS particles in the air, and provides a milligram per cubic meter reading, as well as automated alerts if levels rise above safe levels.
“We will be working with high-risk industries and workplaces to field-test the technology to ensure it’s working as it should be in the unique Australian conditions before we progress to the next phase,” Mr Anderson said.
“We expect the device to be commercially available by the end of this year. Once the technology is finalised we will then work on making it smaller so a worker can easily wear it as a device to stop them from unknowingly inhaling dangerous levels of silica dust.”