SafeWork NSW will hold an event starting next month to put focus on silica safety.
The Silica Roadshow – Unmasking those that don’t work safe will visit Orange on August 6.
The roadshow will also visit Liverpool on August 7, Ballina on August 28, Newcastle on September 3, Tamworth on September 4 and Queanbeyan on October 16.
SafeWork NSW’s Executive Director, Andrew Gavrielatos said they are reaching out to business owners and workers from the manufactured stone, sandstone stonemasonry, as well as tunneling, mining and domestic construction industries.
“The Cancer Council is predicting one-in-100 workers with past exposure to silica without correct safety measures will develop the disease,” said Mr. Gavrielatos.
“Speakers at the roadshow will cover topics on dust control measures, services available for health screening and air monitoring, as well as having industry-specific case studies on achieving best practice.”
Crystalline silica is a basic component of soil, sand, granite, and other minerals that are usually found in concrete and concrete products. It is very small to be seen under normal lighting and can stay airborne for long periods of time. Silica can be easily inhaled into the lungs. It may cause respiratory diseases such as silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer.
Workers may be exposed to silica while cutting, grinding, sanding and polishing silica-containing products.
“This disease is preventable with the correct safety measures in place. This includes having adequate ventilation systems, installing dust capture systems on portable tools, wetting down the stone, providing personal protective equipment such as masks and respirators, and not using compressed air to remove or clean-up settled dust.”
“Businesses should also conduct regular air monitoring to confirm that crystalline silica is not exceeding the Australian Workplace Exposure Standard and provide health monitoring to workers,” said Mr. Gavrielatos.