Calls for silica dust management submission

Safe Work Australia has opened a public submission portal for recommendations on how best to manage silica dust in workplaces.

Respirable crystalline silica – or silica dust – is the leading cause of silicosis and exposure is common in the mining industry.

The contributions are encouraged from persons conducting a business or undertaking, work health and safety professionals, government agencies, industry and peak bodies, employer and worker representatives, and other parties interested in managing the risks of respirable crystalline silica at work.

The views and supporting evidence on the anticipated impacts will be used to evaluate the costs and benefits of proposed options, which Safe Work Australia will provide to work health and safety ministers to assist them in deciding the course of action to be taken to reduce workplace exposure.

A silicosis diagnosis can have serious impacts on all aspects of a person’s life and that of their families, and generally will require preventing people with silicosis from further exposure to silica dust.

Removing people with silicosis from further exposure may mean they are no longer able to work, as exposure to silica dust in the mining industry comes from, among other things, the boring of rock to which workers are exposed.

Stakeholder comments and supporting evidence can be submitted online until August 15.