Workplace exposure standards under review

Tuesday, 04 July, 2017

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Exposure standards have been established in Australia for approximately 700 substances and mixtures. These are legal concentration limits that must not be exceeded. A business must ensure that a worker is not exposed to airborne contaminants above the workplace exposure standard.

Safe Work Australia (SWA) is currently reviewing exposure standards to ensure they are based on the highest quality evidence and supported by a rigorous, scientific approach.

Throughout 2017, SWA will develop three methodologies for sourcing exposure standard information, evaluating individual workplace exposure standards and revising the list of airborne contaminants. The methodologies will be peer-reviewed both internally and with Health Canada.

In early 2018, SWA will evaluate the list of workplace exposure standards according to the peer-reviewed methodologies and develop the documentation required to support the recommendations for each airborne contaminant.

This work will result in a range of recommendations that may include:

  • updates to the current standards
  • removal of a standard
  • changes to notations
  • a finalised list of chemicals and compounds to be listed in the workplace exposure standards.

To stay up to date with the review into workplace exposure standards, or take part in consultation opportunities, visit the SWA website.

The work is expected to be completed by mid-2018.

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