The NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council has launched a new awareness campaign to tackle the risk from dust in the workplace, called “Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it is not there”.
Dust particles generated during mining can be 100 times smaller than a grain of sand and exposure to dust can lead to a range of dust-related diseases from silicosis to lung cancer.
Council Chairman George Souris AM said dust diseases like silicosis are preventable and raising awareness of the risks and how they can be prevented was an important safety initiative.
“Quarries and mines can be dusty places to work and this campaign will hopefully help workers and contractors better understand the health impacts of dust and how workers can help take steps to ensure their own personal safety as well as that of their mates,” Mr Souris said.
“Exposure to harmful dust and dust disease is preventable when appropriate safety measures are in place. This includes the mine or quarry itself but also workers making safety a number one priority through awareness and prevention.
“It can be many years or in some cases even decades before these diseases manifest themselves. So stop, think and be safe at work.”
The campaign is using a range of communication methods including a video featuring a medical doctor, quarry manager and mining Chief Inspector talking about the issue, as well as an online toolkit of easily accessible resources available here.
The NSW Mine Safety Advisory Council was established in 1998. More information about the Council can be found here.
The Council’s awareness campaign is one of a number of tools deployed to ensure workplace health and safety in NSW mines.
The NSW Resources Regulator is the mining regulator and operates stringent reporting requirements, inspections, targeted campaigns and where necessary, prosecutions and other regulatory action. More information is available here.
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