WorkSafe Victoria has released a safety alert regarding silica dust and it's affects on workers, in particular stone masons.
Silica dust can be harmful when inhaled and cause incurable lung disease, such as silicosis, which can be fatal. Between July 2017 and March 2019, 44 silicosis claims have been lodged with WorkSafe Victoria. Of these, 35 claimants were employed as stonemasons. People working in bench top fabrication are at higher risk, because they regularly work with reconstituted stone which can contain up to 95% crystalline silica.
When you do things like cut, grind, drill or polish reconstituted stone products, it releases very fine dust. Some of the dust is so small you may not be able to see it. Employers should carry out health monitoring in all stone bench top fabrication workplaces, unless air monitoring data shows that exposure is less than 0.025 mg/m3 as a TWA (Time Weighted Average). Additionally, wherever possible, eliminate cutting at installation sites. If you can't eliminate cutting at the installation site, use engineering controls.
You can read the full article here on the WorkSafe Victoria website. Please note that JEA Technologies is not affiliated with WorkSafe Victoria in any way.
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