The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (ACT) requires a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) for carrying out work that involves the cutting of crystalline silica material using a power tool or another mechanical process. The definition of cutting includes crush, drill, grind, polish, sand and trim.
A SWMS must be established in consultation with the workers who will be carrying out the silica work before the commencement of the work. A SWMS for cutting crystalline silica material must include specific provisions for control measures for silica dust. The content of a SWMS should provide clear direction on the control measures to be implemented. The control measure should be clearly specified.
Once a SWMS is in place for cutting crystalline silica materials, it is important that the work is carried out in accordance with the SWMS and the relevant employees signed onto the SWMS. If the SWMS is not followed, the PCBU must ensure the work is stopped immediately (or as soon as it is safe to do so) and resume only in accordance with the SWMS.
If you are unsure of your obligations in relation to silica dust safety, please contact our Workplace Relations and Legal Team on (02) 6175 5900.