Victoria has new OHS (Occupational Health & Safety) Regulations related to Crystalline Silica. The regulations introduce new duties that offer greater protection to Victorian employees working with respirable crystalline silica.
The regulations will be introduced in ‘transitional’ phases and will implement the following changes:
The introduction of Australia’s first licensing regime for engineered stone, including increased manufacturer and supplier duties
Victoria’s permanent prohibition on uncontrolled dry-cutting of engineered stone and
Additional regulatory oversight of high-risk crystalline silica work outside of engineered stone across all industries, including the construction and earth resources industries
By 15 May 2022, businesses had to ensure that all high-risk silica work at the workplace has been identified, assessed and effectively controlled. Businesses will also need to develop a formal Engineered Stone Control Plan to be eligible to apply for an engineered stone licence before 15 November 2022.
Licence required for crystalline silica in Victoria
From 15 November 2022, all businesses that process engineered stone products must be licensed to undertake such work and must have developed a formal control plan. In addition, suppliers cannot supply engineered stone to businesses who require a licence but do not have one and they must keep records of their supply.
The ban on uncontrolled dry cutting of silica containing products also becomes permanently applicable on this date.
Employers have an obligation to ensure that all high risk silica work at their place of work has been assessed and effective control measures implemented.
If you have any questions relating to crystalline silica, call our Advice Service Team today to see how we can help your business meet your health and safety obligations.
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