Cross-border safety blitz for silica safety concludes

Cross-border safety blitz for silica safety concludes

A joint operation between WorkSafe Victoria and SafeWork NSW across border areas has concluded, following 43 inspections across construction sites in Mildura and Buronga.

The primary focus of the safety blitz was raising awareness of the risks of exposure to crystalline silica dust, which can pose major risks to the health of workers when not adequately controlled.

Inspectors also advised businesses and PCBUs on the risks of falls from heights, electrical safety, hazardous substances and the importance of Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS).

According to inspectors, 19 safety issues were identified and could be immediately addressed, including six instances where employers didn’t have a Crystalline Silica Hazard Control Statement for high-risk work. Seven improvement notices were issued for silica-related risks.

WorkSafe Director Construction and Earth Resources Matt Wielgosz explained that duty holders must be prepared for any type of high-risk work and have the appropriate safety processes and documentation in place at all times.

“Workplace safety is not something you can set and forget, it should be the first priority in each task to ensure every worker can get the job done safely,” Mr Wielgosz said.

“Together with SafeWork, WorkSafe inspectors will continue to work with local construction workers and employers to help duty holders understand their obligations.”

The operation was part of the ongoing Cross Border Construction Program, which aims to highlight workplace health and safety issues in regional centres along the Victoria-NSW border.

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