When it comes to making every construction a safe site, everybody has to work together.
From workers to subbies and unions and government – everybody has a role to play to ensure that workers can go home to their family safe and healthy at the end of the day.
That’s why we welcome the work being done in the ACT to tackle occupational lung diseases, in particular silica-related diseases.
Recently WorkSafe ACT launched its Strategy for Preventing Occupational Lung Diseases 2021-2023.
The Strategy prioritises the core industries in the ACT and is flexible, allowing for response to any emerging local or national priorities.
WHS Commissioner Jacqueline Agius said the strategy focuses on improving the understanding of what can cause occupational lung diseases and how to effectively prevent them.
Commissioner Agius also feels that the strategy provides a foundation for managing emerging occupational diseases, including COVID-19.
“This work represents a framework to prevent occupational lung diseases,” she said.
“With the effects on the lungs and the impacts of long COVID not yet fully understood from a WHS perspective, I see that COVID-19 may yet form part of a future revision of this strategy.”
With a national rise in cases of the occupational lung disease, silicosis, crystalline silica is a priority substance under WorkSafe ACT’s Strategic Plan 2020-24.
ACT workplaces that handle or modify engineered stone have been a focus of compliance and enforcement activities since 2018.
In collaboration with stakeholders and industry and union partners, WorkSafe ACT has also released a guide to assist in managing the risks of silica dust across the construction industry.
Commissioner Agius is grateful to the team that worked with WorkSafe ACT to develop the guidance note, which is the first of its kind in Australia.
“Silicosis is an insidious and preventable disease,” she said.
“Here in the ACT, we have not taken the effects of silica dust lightly. I am very happy that we could develop this guidance in partnership with key players in the construction industry. The expertise and information so freely provided by the Master Builders ACT and others has been vital in developing an evidence-based approach.”
The Strategy and guidance will be implemented in targeted proactive campaigns over 2022-2024 and supported by resources to help duty holders to comply when tackling issues such as air quality, working in weather and welding fumes.
At neXtrack, our mission is to work with hygiene, construction & manufacturing firms to create healthier work environments, and ultimately to ensure ‘Every Site is a Healthy Site’.
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neXtrack is a new end-to-end digital solution for hazard control and real-time compliance monitoring. The platform helps builders, subcontractors and workers in the construction industry to identify, manage and report on a range of hazards, ensuring every site is a healthy site. To find out more about how you can LIVE LARGE with neXtrack, please REGISTER HERE.