Hazardous materials, News, Work health and safety

Millions for more muscle in NSW silicosis fight

silicosis

The latest New South Wales Budget has allocated another $2.5 million to get more boots on the ground in the fight against silicosis.

The extra muscle is set to ensure compliance with the July 1 ban on the use, supply, and manufacture of engineered stone across the state.

The funding will go towards more inspectors carrying out site visits and issuing penalties to any non-compliant operators.

In addition to the ban, there will be stronger regulation of all other materials containing crystalline silica.

“The Government will not only ban this dangerous product but the funding in this Budget ensures the ban and new compliance regime actually works at saving lives,” NSW Minister for Work Health and Safety Spohie Cotsis said.

“Silicosis is preventable and all workers who are at risk of silicosis will now be registered so that their health is tracked for their lifetime.

“The Government is investing in worker safety as a priority because it is a fundamental right of every worker to go to work and come home safely to their loved ones at the end of the day.”

The additional investment will also protect workers from the dangers of exposure to silica by delivering:

  • additional program staff to provide education tools and programs to support impacted industries
  • the development of new notification systems for businesses doing processing work on existing engineered stone in homes and workplaces.

The latest funding is in addition to $5 million in critical funding already delivered by the government for silicosis research and a patient support program for individuals and their families who are navigating the health risks associated with exposure to silica dust.

The funding aims to enable research into prevention, diagnosis, therapeutic procedures, and treatment of silica dust-related diseases with the aim of improving outcomes for people diagnosed with silicosis.

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