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Safe Work Australia urges industry to get silica smart

A compliance enforcement blitz will target more than 300 high-risk workplaces to prevent the deadly lung disease silicosis.

Safe Work Australia has launched a new phase of its ‘Clean Air. Clear Lungs.’ campaign to improve understanding about silica dust and its hazards.

Silica dust is produced when materials or products containing silica such as stone, bricks, concrete or tiles are cut, drilled, polished, or ground.

Particles of silica dust can lodge deep into the lungs and cause permanent lung damage, including serious and fatal diseases such as silicosis and lung cancer.

Workers in construction, manufacturing, tunnelling, demolition, mining, quarrying and stonemasonry can be exposed to silica dust at work.

Persons conducting a business or undertaking have a legal duty to protect workers by managing the health and safety risks from silica dust.

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Workers also have a legal duty to take reasonable care of their own, and others, health and safety at work.

The ‘Clean Air. Clear Lungs.’ campaign includes information on how to identify hazards and eliminate or minimise the risk of exposure in the workplace.

Important workplace health and safety information is available in English, Chinese, Arabic, Hazargi, Vietnamese and Korean.

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