The revised Workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants (WESFAC) have made a class exemption that exempts mines and petroleum sites from complying with the new respirable crystalline silica exposure standard of 0.05 mg/m3. WESFAC has been republished by Safe Work Australia, and applies in New South Wales (NSW) under clause 5 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017.
Operators of mines and petroleum sites must continue complying with the current 0.1 mg/m3 exposure standard until the new exposure standard is implemented in WESFAC by the NSW Government. Once determined, the exemption will be adjusted to reflect the revised dates. Exceedances of the current 0.1 mg/m3 exposure standard must be reported to the NSW Resources Regulator.
There will be no changes to the current coal dust exposure standard of 2.5 mg/m3 (as per clause 39 of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014) because of the republished WESFAC.
Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/rh2010