Crystalline silica safety blitz to commence in cross-border commitment

Crystalline silica safety blitz to commence in cross-border commitment

SafeWork NSW and WorkSafe Victoria are joining forces to help employers across border communities reduce the risks associated with crystalline silica dust. The two safety bodies are conducting a joint, week-long blitz with a focus on residential construction sites.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety, Narelle Beer, explained that the blitz also includes a free industry breakfast, and the events are designed to raise awareness about the risks of exposure to hazardous crystalline silica dust.

“While many in the industry would be aware of the risks when working with engineered stone, fewer would know that unsafe cutting or crushing of products such as ceramic tiles, concrete, bricks and marble can also expose workers to dangerous crystalline silica dust,” Dr Beer said.

“Silicosis can have heartbreaking consequences for young workers and their families – that’s why we’re reminding employers and tradies of the steps they must take to ensure a safe workplace, no matter which side of the border they’re working on.”

In the eighteen months to July, WorkSafe has accepted 88 claims from workers who have developed silica-related diseases. In the same period, six workers died.

Duty holders in Victoria are reminded that changes came into effect on May 15 of this year, which means businesses that create dust when working with materials that contain crystalline silica must identify and document any high-risk silica work, as well as the measures used to control those risks.

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