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Over the next six months, inspectors are targeting silica safety in construction and can issue prohibition notices to stop work that generates high levels of silica dust.   

Demolition and excavation work, and drilling, cutting or grinding materials containing crystalline silica can generate fine dust which, when breathed in can cause deadly silicosis. The presence of dust is a sign that it is not being controlled at the source.  

Hazards differ from site to site. Applying control measures can help prevent exposure to silica dust.   

Workers can manage these risks by:   

  • using products or materials that do not contain, or contain less, silica  
  • using dust capture and/or water suppression systems tools to reduce dust
  • ensuring regular cleaning of work areas to prevent the accumulation of dust
  • using water, H or M class vacuums for safe clean up - do not dry sweep  
  • using respirators that meet Australian Standards 
  • undertaking air monitoring, if required
  • having regular health check-ups – learn about iCare’s lung screening service.

Find free resources on how to work safely around silica dust