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Spotlight on silica dust and mental health in SafeWork NSW inspection program

Jan 13th 2022

Spotlight on silica dust and mental health in SafeWork NSW inspection program

Inspectors from SafeWork NSW are visiting construction sites across the state to talk with workers about the health risks of silica dust exposure and mental ill-health.

SafeWork NSW Executive Director of Compliance and Dispute Resolution Tony Williams said inspectors will be speaking with principal contractors and site supervisors during the visits.

Silica dust can be found in rocks and building materials such as concrete, bricks, stones, sand, granite and more.

"When cutting or grinding these items, workers can breathe in fine silica dust, which can be deadly. In NSW in 2020-21, there were 57 cases of silicosis diagnosed and seven deaths," Mr Williams said.

"In addition, mental health is a real and often overlooked problem in the building and construction industry, with construction workers being six times more likely to die from suicide than from an incident at work.

"With COVID-19 risks front-of-mind, it is a good time for employers to think about their responsibilities to ensure both a physically and mentally safe work environment.

Read the full story on SafeWork NSW website.

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