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Regional Update

August 22, 2019

Crystalline silica (silica) is found in sand, stone, concrete and mortar. It is also used to make a variety of products including composite stone used to fabricate kitchen and bathroom benchtops, bricks, tiles and some plastics. When workers cut, crush, drill, polish, saw or grind products that contain silica, dust particles are generated that are small enough to lodge deep in the lungs and cause illness or disease including silicosis.

A recent spike in the disease is reported to have occurred in some of the workers involved in stone bench top manufacture, where dry cutting, grinding or polishing of artificial stone-based products can generate high levels of the dust. However, this problem is also relevant to anyone who cuts bricks, concrete, tiles, fibre cement, etc.

HIA has been undertaking a number of awareness raising activities of risks of exposure and developed practice notes on ways to work safely with products containing silica.

We will be hosting a seminar on Tuesday 17 September from 5.30pm through to 7pm, aimed at builders, trade contractors (carpenters, bricklayers, tilers, concretors, electricians, etc.) with the focus on the practical not theoretical.

Understanding the risks of silicosis should be a priority to protect your health, your workers health and your business.

Hear from the experts at the Silica Awareness Series.

Find out more