SWA campaign urges workers to be silica smart

Friday, 17 November, 2023

SWA campaign urges workers to be silica smart

Safe Work Australia has launched a new phase of its ‘Clean Air. Clear Lungs.’ occupational lung diseases campaign to improve understanding of the hazards of silica dust and the duties under work health and safety laws to manage the risks. The campaign provides resources to help identify hazards and eliminate or minimise the risk of exposure to silica dust in the workplace. Key WHS information is available in English, Chinese, Arabic, Hazaragi, Vietnamese and Korean.

Silica dust is produced when materials or products containing silica such as stone, bricks, concrete or tiles are cut, drilled, polished or ground. Particles of silica dust are small and can lodge deep into lungs, causing lung damage and serious diseases such as silicosis and lung cancer. Workers in construction, manufacturing, tunnelling, demolition, mining, quarrying and stonemasonry can be exposed to silica dust at work.

Persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) have a legal duty to protect workers by managing the health and safety risks from silica dust. Workers also have a legal duty to take care of their own, and others’, health and safety at work.

More information about the ‘Clean. Air. Clear Lungs.’ campaign can be found here.

Image credit: iStock.com/Dusan Stankovic

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