Some of our members may already be aware that the Managing respirable crystalline silica dust exposure in construction and manufacturing of construction elements Code of Practice 2022 has been approved by the Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace.
The new Code is Australia’s first silica dust code of practice for the construction industry and will commence in Queensland on 1 May 2023. It applies to all construction work as well as the manufacturing of materials such as bricks, blocks, tiles, mortar and concrete.
The Code outlines how duty holders can meet the requirements of Queensland’s work health and safety legislation, including eliminating or minimising exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) at work by:
- using tried and tested dust control methods that prevent silica dust from being generated or being released into the air, including water suppression and on-tool dust extraction
- using appropriate respirable protective equipment to safeguard at-risk workers
- using exposure data from air monitoring to check dust controls are effective
- providing health monitoring to at-risk workers, with clearly defined triggers for testing based on level of risk
- consulting with workers, as well as training, education, instruction and supervision of workers.
The Code was developed in close consultation with workers, employers and technical experts across Queensland, building on international best practice to ensure silica dust is managed safely and workers are protected in the construction industry and the manufacturing of construction materials.
The Code and more information on managing respirable crystalline silica dust is available on the WorkSafe Qld website, or click on the button below to download this new code.