Hazard control and monitoring platform neXtrack has welcomed the Victorian Government’s decision to strengthen its occupational health and safety regulations to better protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust.
The objectives of Victoria’s changes to regulations are to introduce Australia’s first licensing regime for engineered stone, permanently prohibit uncontrolled dry-cutting of engineered stone and add additional regulatory oversight of high-risk crystalline silica work outside of engineered stone across all industries.
The changes also prescribe eight offences for which an on-the-spot infringement notice may be issued.
NeXtrack Chief Executive Officer Paul Brennan said Victoria was leading by example when it came to silica regulations and called on other states to review and improve their regulations in any way possible.
“It’s positive to see governments taking exposure to silica dust in the workplace seriously,” Mr Brennan said.
“Everyone has a role to play when it comes to preventing silicosis, from governments to subcontractors and individual workers.
“We welcome Victoria taking important steps to make workplaces safer and call on every government to look at what they can do to strengthen their regimes to better protect workers from silica dust exposure.”
NeXtrack is a new end-to-end solution for hazard control and real-time compliance monitoring created to help the construction industry respond to the devastating rise in occupational lung diseases such as silicosis that has now affected more than 500 workers across the country.
It has received strong early support from some of the biggest players in the construction industry as the company pushes ahead with an accelerated national roll-out.
Gold Coast-based startup Trieste Global launched the neXtrack platform earlier this year and has recently secured support from building giants Multiplex and Hutchinson Builders. The builders are rolling out the platform across several sites as part of their strategy to tackle occupational lung disease and a range of other worker hazards.
The platform can be utilised by Builders, Subcontractors and individual tradies and has multiple levels of subscription with the basic subscription available for free to subcontractors.
Mr Brennan said NeXtrack had been designed as an automated monitoring platform for hazard control and validation that digitises processes, provides real-time feedback, and protects workers from occupational Illnesses.
“Project owners, builders and their subbies now have the ability to automate the process of hazard monitoring and implementing controls,” he said.
“We believe it won’t just save time and money; it will save lives. For the first time, the industry can truly demonstrate that controls are validated and effective.”