Federal, state and territory WHS ministers recently agreed at a meeting in Canberra to Safe Work Australia’s recommendations on action to reduce workplace exposure to respirable crystalline silica and prevent silicosis and silica-related diseases in Australia.
“Workplace exposure to respirable crystalline silica has led to an unacceptable increase in the number of cases of silicosis and other silica-related diseases,” said Safe Work Australia CEO Michelle Baxter.
Safe Work Australia recently commenced the next stage of consultation on a prohibition on the use of engineered stone, and consultation is open through Safe Work Australia’s engage website until 2 April 2023.
“Stakeholder feedback from the consultation will inform a report to be provided to WHS ministers for their consideration.
“We will also work closely with WHS regulators and other stakeholders including industry and unions, to implement the options agreed by WHS ministers, including further national awareness and behaviour-change initiatives and regulation of high-risk crystalline silica processes for all materials, including engineered stone, and across all industries.”
Safe Work Australia’s Decision Regulation Impact Statement: Managing the risks of respirable crystalline silica at work analysed the impacts of regulatory and non-regulatory options to manage the risks of respirable crystalline silica at work.
WHS ministers considered the Decision RIS and agreed to the following options as recommended by Safe Work Australia:
The Decision RIS follows significant work undertaken by Safe Work Australia since 2018 to reduce exposure to respirable crystalline silica and prevent silicosis and silica-related diseases, including:
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