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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 853 asked in the Legislative Council on 19 September 2018 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon W.J. Johnston
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 19 September 2018

SILICOSIS RISK

853. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the Minister for Commerce and Industrial Relations:

(1) Is the minister aware of media reports of a spike in silicosis in Queensland, attributed to the dry-cutting of stone products?

(2) Are any Western Australian workers at risk of silicosis through dry-cutting of stone products?

Hon DARREN WEST replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. On behalf of the Minister for Regional Development representing the Minister for Commerce and Industrial Relations, I provide the following answer.

(1) Yes.

(2) Working with silica is a known hazard. The potential for silicosis, if safe systems of work involving silica are not followed, is also known. Numerous provisions within the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 impose various duties with respect to crystalline silica as a defined ''hazardous substance''. The website of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety contains safety alerts and information bulletins on the risks of silica exposure and guidance on specific safety control measures to mitigate those risks.

If known, the government would greatly appreciate DMIRS being provided with the details of workplaces where workers are being placed at risk of silicosis by dry-cutting stone products.