On 1 July 2020, the NSW Government’s Silicosis Reduction Strategy started. The strategy introduced the most comprehensive reforms in Australia to reduce the deadly lung disease, silicosis.
The reforms include:
The Workplace Exposure Standard (WES) has been halved from 0.1mg/m³ to 0.05mg/m³ (8-hour time weighted average).
Uncontrolled cutting, grinding and drilling of manufactured stone is banned, with on-the-spot fines of up to $3600.
Silicosis is now a scheduled medical condition in NSW. All medical practitioners must notify NSW Health when they diagnose a case of silicosis.
Penalties apply to businesses that fail to notify SafeWork NSW when they receive an adverse health monitoring report for a worker, including a diagnosis of silicosis. Download the notification form.
SafeWork NSW invites you to view their 2020 silica webinar series. There are three video recordings from their 2020 Silica Symposium, available to view on-demand. If you watch any two of the following videos you will be eligible for the small business rebate (terms and conditions apply):
Join SafeWork NSW’s State Inspector and Occupational Hygienist, Michael Weller, for a 20-minute session which focuses on controlling silica dust through the hierarchy of controls. Register to watch the session on-demand.
To be eligible for the Small Business Rebate collect your certificate to use as evidence of your webinar attendance. A $500 rebate is available to eligible small businesses and sole traders in NSW who buy and install equipment that makes their workplace safer.