20th December 2019

A class exemption has been made that exempts mines and petroleum sites from having to comply with the new respirable crystalline silica exposure standard of 0.05mg/m3 in the revised Workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants (WESFAC).

Safe Work Australia has republished WESFAC with the new respirable crystalline silica exposure standard. The republished WESFAC applies in NSW under clause 5 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017.

Operators of mines and petroleum sites will need to continue complying with the current 0.1mg/m3 exposure standard until the NSW Government decides to implement the new exposure standard in WESFAC. Once determined, the exemption will be adjusted to reflect the revised dates.

Mines and petroleum sites will also need to continue reporting exceedances of the current 0.1mg/m3 exposure standard to the Resources Regulator.

There is no change to the respirable coal dust exposure standard because of the republished WESFAC. The respirable coal dust exposure standard is 2.5mg/m3 (clause 39 of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Regulation 2014).