News & Events

Protecting Workers from Deadly Silica Dust

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Workplace Safety Jill Hennessy, have today unveiled a comprehensive action plan to combat the effects of deadly silica dust exposure.

This plan, a compliance and enforcement blitz targeting over 300 high-risk stonemasonry workshops, is aimed to prevent silica dust exposure and deadly lung disease silicosis.

The plan includes:

  • A statewide ban on uncontrolled dry cutting of materials that contain crystalline silica dust
  • Free health screening for Victoria’s 1400 stonemasons
  • A new compliance code for those working with silica
  • An awareness campaign highlighting the risks  

Silica dust impacts workers in construction, mining and quarrying with stonemasons at higher risk due to cutting and polishing of artificial stone bench tops.

Silica is found in many materials common on construction sites, including concrete, masonry, brick, block and stone.

The dust created by cutting, grinding, drilling or otherwise disturbing these materials can contain respirable crystalline silica.

More information from WorkSafe on the concentration levels and how to control exposure can be found here and in the Compliance Code: Hazardous Substance

You can read the full media release here:

Master Plumbers representatives are currently involved in a national discussion regarding silica exposure and will continue to inform members as new information becomes available.