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New Laws to Enforce Silica Dust Code of Practice for the Construction Industry

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Managing respirable crystalline silica dust exposure in construction and manufacturing of construction elements Code of Practice. New laws are set to enforce the Silica Dust Code of Practice for the Construction Industry, with changes coming into play from May 1st 2023 this year in Queensland. Recently, Australian media program 60 Minutes, reported on the construction & renovation boom across Australia and the associated risks of silica dust exposure to the workers in those workplaces and industries. Excerpt from the Worksafe Qld website.

Excerpt from the Worksafe Qld website >>

Australia’s New Code

The new Code is Australia’s first silica dust code of practice for the construction industry and will commence in Queensland on 1 May 2023. It applies to all construction work as well as the manufacturing of materials such as bricks, blocks, tiles, mortar and concrete.

The Code outlines how duty holders can meet the requirements of Queensland’s work health and safety legislation, including eliminating or minimising exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) at work by:

Using tried and tested dust control methods that prevent silica dust from being generated or being released into the air, including water suppression and on-tool dust extraction

The recent 60 Minutes report on Silicosis in Australia showed just how dangerous silicosis is, and raised many questions around workers health & safety, accountability and companies & industries involved. With the code now being enforced more diligently, Construction Managers can expect Worksafe, EPA & regulators to be more and more vigilant around worksite safety and having correct dust suppression systems in place, otherwise projects will face delays, shutdown, fines & possible future liability. Construction workers, quarries, mining, stone masons and recycling are those included at higher risk of silicosis from dust exposure. Here at OZmist we are seeing the demand increase for Dust Suppression solutions, along with increased responsibility and proactivity here in Australia.

Managing respirable crystalline silica dust exposure in construction and manufacturing of construction elements Code of Practice 2022.
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