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Silica detector to protect NSW workers from dust diseases

Wednesday 11, Nov 2020

NSCA Foundation Safe-T-Bulletin

 

Silica detector to protect NSW workers from dust diseases

The NSW Government has launched a trial of a real-time silica detector to accurately monitor silica dust levels in the air. The world-first technology could protect New South Wales (NSW) workers from contracting silicosis, a deadly lung disease. NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said the detector can be used by workers cutting or working with manufactured or other silica containing stone, protecting them from inhaling dangerous levels of silica dust. The detector enables users to monitor exposure levels in real time, ensuring workers can remove themselves from harmful exposure before it is too late.

“This government puts the safety of its citizens first, and the NSW Government’s investment into developing this device will help give peace of mind for anyone working with manufactured stone,” Anderson said. The detector is one element of the NSW Government’s two-year plan to tackle dust diseases, including silicosis and asbestosis. The NSW Government has taken proactive measures to protect workers, by reducing the legal exposure standard for silica exposure, banning dry cutting of manufactured stone, making silicosis a notifiable disease and establishing a dust diseases register that tracks, responds to and prevents deadly dust diseases.

The ‘NSW Dust Strategy 2020–22’ seeks to coordinate with SafeWork NSW’s exposure prevention activities to ensure consistent application of the controls and best practice principles across NSW worksites. “We’ve consulted widely with unions, employers’ associations and the building and construction sector to develop a robust and practical strategy and look forward to working with industry to implement these principles and end dust diseases for good,” Anderson concluded.

More information on the NSW Dust Strategy 2020–22 is available here, via the SafeWork NSW website.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/kanpisut