Public comment – Managing the risks of respirable crystalline silica

Workers in a broad range of industries including manufacturing, stonemasonry, construction, tunnelling, demolition, mining and quarrying are exposed to respirable crystalline silica (RCS). This exposure can lead to serious diseases including silicosis. Silicosis is an irreversible lung disease that causes permanent disability and can be fatal.

Due to a rise in silicosis cases nationally, the Commonwealth, states and territories have agreed that additional steps need to be taken to reduce exposure to RCS in all workplaces. These steps are now the subject of a consultation regulation impact statement (CRIS) which presents regulatory and non-regulatory options, under the model work health and safety (WHS) laws, to manage the risks of RCS to improve protection of the health and safety of workers.

Northern Territory businesses, industries, workers and interested parties are invited to express their views on the evidence and impact of the options outlined in the CRIS.

The feedback gathered from the consultation process will assist work health and safety ministers in deciding the course of action to be taken to mitigate the risks of worker exposure to silica dust.

To access the full report and have your say, please visit Safe Work Australia’s consultation page.

Submissions are open until 11.59pm (AEST), Monday 15 August 2022.