Silica Awareness Training in Sydney – Managing Dust Exposure in the Workplace
Silica has been a long standing health hazard, causing millions of cases of disease and death since civilization, stone masonry and mining began. The risk arises through the inhalation of dusts containing crystalline silica. This training programme will assist workers in workplaces where silica is present to manage the risk to workers’ health.
The workplace health and safety law has provision that employers or persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) must control the risks from silica exposures. They must ensure all workers who may come into contact with silca dust understand the risks, the control measures and company policy and procedures when dealing with silica dust.
Do risks from silica still exist in workplaces?
The major risks previously observed in silica-exposed populations have been greatly diminished over the last five decades; however, thousands of workers are still potentially at risk from exposure.
Silica remains an important risk factor for respiratory disease. Respiratory disease is a work-related disease in focus for recognition, prevention and management with Safe Work Australia.
Why does respirable crystalline silica represent a workplace hazard?
The basic concern about quartz or RCS is that it is toxic to the human body in several ways. Principally it is fibrogenic (promoting the development of fibrous tissue) to the lung causing silicosis.
It is the silica dusts, mostly smaller than10 μm in diameter, that are potentially damaging to the lung. This size range cannot be seen by the naked eye in ordinary lighting. That fraction of a dust cloud which penetrates to the alveolar space of the lung is referred to as the respirable fraction. The respirable fraction of a dust cloud must be measured to assess the disease risk from dusts containing RCS. Size and surface area of particles are important determinants of their toxicity but are not specifically measured.
What kinds of workplaces and processes expose workers to silica?
Because silica is widely encountered in extractive industries, in the manufacture of many concrete based building materials, and finds widespread use in manufacturing processes, the number of Queensland workers potentially exposed is large. Typical leading industries include:
- cement manufacturing
- power generation
- brick and tile manufacturing
- construction, including granite grinding and polishing
- metal polishing
- architectural abrasive blasting
What does the legislation say about working with silica?
Work Health and Safety Act 2011
The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) establishes a number of primary duties for a PCBU. Under section 19, the PCBU has a duty to ensure the workplace health and safety of various persons.
This duty is paramount. In other words, if a PCBU is involved in work with materials involving silica exposure, so far as is reasonably practicable, no person’s health is to be affected by that work.
Section 19 duties as they apply to the use of silica in the workplace include:
- providing and maintaining safe and healthy work environment
- providing and maintaining safe plant and structures for working with materials containing silica
- ensuring safe systems of work
- ensuring safe use of silica containing substances
- providing information, instruction, training and supervision
- ensuring the workplace conditions are monitored to prevent illness from carrying out work with silica.
This program is a face to face program conducted in your work place or at our training facility. The program is a classroom presentation outlining all the requirements that should be in place to manage silica dust in the workplace.
Timings: The induction will take 2-3 hours
Group Numbers: You can have up to 20 people involved in the induction, provided there is adequate comfortable seating
Facilities: A training room suitable for the number of people being booked in. A digital projector or large format screen (we can bring own projector) for the presentation to be screened on.
Cost: Please call and discuss for group pricing.
Group Booking Form : Booking form
Site Requirements: RST T-0021 Onsite Training Check List
Please call 02 9892 3370 to discuss this program.