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?
(3) Does the inspection program currently being undertaken by WorkSafe WA of workplaces where stone cutting is performed include air monitoring and testing?
(4) If no to (3), why not?
Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:
I thank the member for the question. The following information has been provided to me by the Minister for Industrial Relations.
(1) Yes. The minister supported the reduction in the national exposure standard to 0.02 milligrams per cubic metre. However, Safe Work Australia decided to recommend that the minimum exposure standard be 0.05 milligrams per cubic metre.
(2) Not applicable.
(4) Not applicable.