Preventing Occupational Dust Diseases

Preventing Occupational Dust Diseases for all workers within the South Australian Mining and Quarrying Sector

Funded Health Surveillance – Dust Monitoring

The Mining and Quarrying Occupational Health and Safety Committee (MAQOHSC) is dedicated to protecting South Australian mine and quarry workers from Occupational Dust Related Diseases.  

MAQOHSC works in partnership with stakeholders and workers engaging directly in the workplace. All prevention strategies are in alignment with the MAQOHSC strategic plan and include the development and funding of targeted projects, education programs and providing comprehensive dedicated management and workforce resources that demonstrate the importance of workplace safety, industry best practice and provide guidance to achieve a model of continuous improvement for all workers in all South Australian mines and quarries. 

The generation of dust particles are a common occurrence associated with mining and quarrying activities. Certain types of minerals when drilled, extracted from the ground or processed, generate dust particles which contain silica. Exposure to silica can cause respiratory illness and/or occupational dust related disease such as silicosis.  

Silicosis is incurable and can go undetected for many years as it can have a long latency period. Silicosis is the most common occupational lung disease worldwide; Silicosis resulted in 46,000 deaths globally in 2013 down from 55,000 deaths in 1990.  

MAQOHSC is currently completing the second year of a five year fully funded mining and quarrying health surveillance – dust monitoring program throughout South Australia. 

The current MAQOHSC five year project includes monitoring, evaluating and reporting on dust generation activities within the mine and quarry environment, monitoring workers respirable dust exposure levels. The program evaluates current workplace dust management strategies, current workers respiratory protection as well as personal protective equipment and fitment of use. Additionally MAQOHSC has value added to the program to include workplace noise monitoring. MAQOHSC undertakes this detailed method to observe, assess and report on the health risks and the challenges of each workplace.  

Detailed reporting identifies strategies that MAQOHSC can provide assistance and support to stakeholders on the implementation of effective elimination of dust at the source, dust mitigation strategies and risk control measures to reduce all workers dust exposure within the workplace.  

MAQOHSC Work Health and Safety Specialists are available to assist industry to facilitate workplace discussions or educational information sessions and provide advice and assistance. Contact us if you require further information.

Dust Resources for Industry 

Dust Mitigation, Management and Education Resources Coming Soon 

South Australia’s mines, quarries and companies associated in providing services to these valuable industries have been provided direct support during the previous 75 years. 

The wealth of services directly has continued to improve workplace safety and protect the health of South Australia’s mine and quarry workers.  

South Australian leaders possessed the foresight to maximise the resources within our State, this created a pathway to progressive growth that is enjoyed by all South Australians today. The mining, quarrying and associated industries are a valuable resource to our economy, stimulation in our precious regional areas providing employment opportunities throughout our State.  

Our States wealthy and valuable industries have been directly supported from the inception of the Silicosis Scheme in 1941, the Silicosis Committee, the later established Mining and Quarrying Occupational Health and Safety Committee in the Occupational Health Safety and Welfare Act 1986 and retained in the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA). 

New dedicated Prevention of Occupational Dust Related Disease resources to support industry are in the final stages of development and will be distributed to stakeholders shortly.  

Resources will include: 

  • Workplace Dust Management Prevention Guide 
  • Dust Management Plan (Dust mitigation – site management audit tool) 
  • Workers Respiratory Protection Guide 
  • Workers Best Practice Dust Guide

Available to view now ‘Preventing Occupational Dust Related Diseases Report 2017’

Resources are due for release April 2018.

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