Is your workplace safe from Silica Dust? | AWU Safety Alert
AWU Workplace Health & Safety Alert
Silica dust can also cause kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Currently the mandatory silica dust exposure limit is 0.1mg per cubic metre, averaged over an eight-hour day.
To protect workers, the AWU is campaigning to reduce the level of silica dust exposure to 0.02mg.
If you do one of these jobs, you are at risk of exposure to silica dust:
Moving earth – excavating, mining, quarrying, tunnelling or tiling
Manufacture of glass, ceramics, brick, concrete, tile or metals
Mineral ore-treating processes
Breaking, crushing, grinding or milling material containing silica
Cutting, grinding, sanding and polishing stone bench tops
Paving, surfacing or cement finishing
Sand blasting or casting
Clean-up activities such as dry sweeping or pressurised air blowing of concrete or sand dust
Your employer is required to control the risks of silica dust by:
Providing well-fitted respiratory protective equipment (RPE)
Fitting tools and equipment with extraction devices to eliminate dust
Using water suppression to wet dust down when there are no extraction devices fitted on tools
Monitoring your health including physical examination, standardised respiratory function tests, and chest x-rays
If you have any concerns about exposure to silica dust at your site, contact the AWU on 1800 298 753 immediately.