NSW applies exemption to new silica exposure standard

Several New South Wales mines and petroleum sites are ruled out from the new respirable crystalline silica exposure standard due to a class exemption by Safe Work.

Safe Work Australia has republished workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants (WESFAC) with the new respirable crystalline silica exposure standard.

The new respirable crystalline silica exposure standard is 0.05 milligrams per cubic metre in contrast to 0.1 milligram.

Operators of mines and petroleum sites will need to continue complying with the current 0.1 milligrams per cubic metre exposure standard until the New South Wales Government decides to implement the new standard in WESFAC.

Mines and petroleum sites will also need to continue reporting exceedance of the 0.1 milligrams per cubic metre exposure standard to the state’s Resources Regulator.

“There is no change to the respirable coal dust exposure standard because of the republished WESFAC,” the New South Wales Government stated.

“The respirable coal dust exposure standard is 2.5 milligrams per cubic metre.”