A reminder that the new Workplace Exposure Limit (WEL) for Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) is currently in effect as of July 1st.
After an extensive review, SafeWork Australia ruled to lower the 8-hour RCS workplace exposure limit from 0.1 mg/m3 to 0.05 mg/m3.
Exposure regulations are mandatory legal limits which are in place to protect workers and minimise exposure to RCS.
RCS exposure and the inhalation of silica dust particles can lead to significant health risks and disease including silicosis.
All duty holders working with silica-based products (e.g. engineered stone & manufactured stone) must take into account the new exposure limits and take measures to ensure that RCS exposure is kept to a minimum as far as reasonably practicable.
When it comes to working with silica products, employers and PCBUs have a responsibility to manage workplace safety and eliminate RCS exposure or failing that, implement control measures.
Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) and having workers complete Pre-start Checklists are vital in ensuring that work in conducted safely.