WorkSafe is encouraging people who are concerned about whether they are at risk of being affected by silicosis to get in touch by using this form. So far, dozens of Kiwis have contacted the agency to find out more about this disease.

Silicosis is a serious issue for many trades whose work produces dust as part of their activities. It also has insurance implications. This is an area where the goalposts are moving and silica exclusions already to some policies.

Any industry that involves working with stone, cement and other similar materials potentially expose workers to the risk of silicosis. When these materials are cut, sanded or drilled, they potentially produce a fine dust, which can cause the serious lung disease.

Activities that may contribute to this disease include:

  • Installing stone countertops
  • Excavation, earth moving and drilling 
  • Paving and surfacing
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Tunnelling
  • Construction labouring activities
  • Brick, concrete or stone cutting using dry methods
  • Angle grinding, jack hammering and concrete chiselling
  • Pottery making

“It’s also important to monitor the health of staff and contractors and also monitor the air to check for dust-borne particles”

It’s prudent for businesses facing the risk of claims associated with silicosis to put in place proper risk mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of this disease affecting anyone who comes into contact with their business. 

WorkSafe has issued guidelines about reducing silica dust in the workplace.

There are many ways businesses may be able to reduce the risk of silicosis affecting their staff and contractors:

  • Using exhaust ventilation such as booths, extraction hoods or tools fitted with extraction
  • Working as closely as possible to the extraction point and using a turntable or bench so tradespeople can direct dust towards the extraction point
  • Using HEPA filtered (Dust Class H) vacuum cleaners next to where the dust is madePre-cutting materials to minimise dust when working offsite
  • Using respirators (fitted with at least a P1 filter)

It’s prudent for businesses facing the risk of claims associated with silicosis to put in place proper risk mitigation strategies to reduce the risk of this disease affecting anyone who comes into contact with their business. 

WorkSafe has issued guidelines about reducing silica dust in the workplace.

There are many ways businesses may be able to reduce the risk of silicosis affecting their staff and contractors:

  • Using exhaust ventilation such as booths, extraction hoods or tools fitted with extraction
  • Working as closely as possible to the extraction point and using a turntable or bench so tradespeople can direct dust towards the extraction point
  • Using HEPA filtered (Dust Class H) vacuum cleaners next to where the dust is madePre-cutting materials to minimise dust when working offsite
  • Using respirators (fitted with at least a P1 filter)

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