Managing Risks and Exposures to Silica in Training and Assessment Activities in Vocational Education and Training

Richard Skiba


A number of activities in workplaces, such as such as those including cutting, grinding, sanding, drilling, loading or demolishing products that contain silica, can produce respirable particles of crystalline silica dust that are small enough to inhale. Inhalation of crystalline silica can cause silicosis which is incurable. Work practices are critical to prevent the condition from occurring and safe work practices are as relevant to workplaces as they are to training environments.  This study considers methods of risk control and training practices such that silicosis is prevented.

Training requirements are profiled in a vocational education and training setting and must include: crystalline silica hazards and health risks, including silicosis; effective use controls; use and maintenance of personal protective equipment, including Respiratory Protective Equipment; safe waste disposal; and, practices for personal decontamination.  The training environment must be designed in a manner to allow for engineering controls, such as on-tool water suppression or on-tool dust extraction, to be utilised.

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