Worker Safety

SILICOSIS RISK

736. Hon ALISON XAMON to the minister representing the Minister for Industrial Relations:

I refer to recent revelations of five confirmed cases of silicosis in Western Australia following exposure to crystalline silica at work.

(1)  Does the minister support calls to lower the standard for workplace exposure to silica dust over an average of eight hours from 0.1 milligrams per cubic metre down to 0.02 milligrams per cubic metre?

(2)  If no to (1), why not?

SILICOSIS RISK

HON ALISON XAMON (North Metropolitan) [6.21 pm]: I rise to speak about the incredibly concerning rise in the number of cases of silicosis occurring across Australia as a result of occupational exposure to silica. I particularly want to acknowledge the important work that UnionsWA and the union movement generally have been doing in trying to bring attention to what I think will be quite a serious crisis. We know that people who work in industries exposed to silica dust are currently at unacceptable risk of developing silicosis unless urgent action is taken.

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