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Silicosis: a detriment to workers and the construction industry

Friday 01, May 2020

NSCA Foundation's Safe-T-Bulletin, powered by Safety Solutions



Silicosis: a detriment to workers and the construction industryThe Construction Industry, every day, poses a multitude of potential hazards for construction workers. Daily tasks that aren’t performed safely and correctly can cause health risks, injury or even death. Site Managers need to remain diligent and pro-active by ensuring they are implementing the safest work procedures for their workers, workers too have the individual responsibility to practise safe work methods even if they aren’t being properly enforced when they should be.

A current and top-of-mind issue within the industry at the moment is the exposure of workers to silica dust causing the life threatening disease Silicosis. Silica dust has detrimental health effects which is starting to take a toll and become more prevalent for construction workers, especially young workers, who, for some, have been exposed to it from their teens. Crystalline Silica is a very common mineral used in the manufacture of building products and construction materials. Applying adequate controls such as minimising the generation of airborne dust can reduce hazardous exposure and prevent illness in the workplace.

It is not only important to be aware of the health risks of working with materials that contain silica but also the many other hazards that are prominent on a job site. Of all Australian professions in 2019, the Construction Industry recorded the third-highest number of fatalities (20) as at 7 November 2019, as recorded by Safe Work Australia which highlights the importance of constantly practising safety on the worksite and being aware of all potential hazards.

Further to this, the recently published NSW Construction Site Safety Guide 2020/21 by Pro-Visual Publishing in conjunction with the Master Builders NSW and the NSCA Foundation provides further information on construction site safety relevant to both NSW and QLD. With digital interactivity using Augmented Reality (AR) further resources can also be accessed such as 3D models and videos.

For further information, or to obtain additional copies of the Guide, please call (02) 8272 2611, email or visit

For media enquiries or images please contact Deanna Davenport at Pro-Visual Publishing on (02) 8272 2611 or

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