Free Orange event to focus business attention on silica safety

People working with silica in regional centres including Tamworth, Ballina, Orange, Newcastle and Queanbeyan will have a chance to brush up on safety and attend SafeWork NSW’s Silica Roadshow – Unmasking those that don’t work safe.

The Silica Roadshow will visit Orange on August 6. To check the dates and register to attend please visit

SafeWork NSW’s Executive Director, Andrew Gavrielatos, said the workplace regulator was reaching out to business owners and workers from the manufactured stone, sandstone stonemasonry, as well as tunnelling, mining and domestic construction industries.

“The Cancer Council is predicting one-in-100 workers with past exposure to silica without correct safety measures will develop the disease,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“Speakers at the roadshow will cover topics on dust control measures, services available for health screening and air monitoring, as well as having industry-specific case studies on achieving best practice.”

When products containing silica are cut, grind or drilled, the dust particles generated are small enough to be inhaled and cause illness or the lung disease silicosis.

“This disease is preventable with the correct safety measures in place. This includes having adequate ventilation systems, installing dust capture systems on portable tools, wetting down the stone, providing personal protective equipment such as masks and respirators, and not using compressed air to remove or clean-up settled dust.”

“Businesses should also conduct regular air monitoring to confirm that crystalline silica dust is not exceeding the Australian Workplace Exposure Standard and provide health monitoring to workers,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

Editors Note: The Silica Roadshow – Unmasking those that don’t work safe will visit Orange on August 6; Liverpool on August 7, Ballina on August 28, Newcastle on September 3, Tamworth on September 4 and Queanbeyan on October 16.