Safe Work Australia has released a new guide for working with silica and silica-containing products.
The guide aims to assist persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) to understand and make decisions about protecting their workers from exposure to silica dust.
The national guide for Working with silica and silica containing products offers information on controlling the risks of exposure to silica dust when working with silica and products containing silica.
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.
The Cancer Council is predicting one-in-100 workers with past exposure to silica without safety measures will develop respiratory diseases.