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Australian Workplace Exposure Standards Review – 2021

Safe Work Australia is currently undertaking a review of workplace exposure standards for airborne contaminants.

Recommendations are for substantial reductions in acceptable contaminant concentrations for many compounds. These reductions are as much as 90% from current standards.

The review is extensive in scope and is likely to have an impact on many industries, including mining, mineral and timber and food processing, pharmaceuticals, and refining.

Examples of reductions in acceptable contaminant levels are:

  • Various metallic dusts: typically 90%
  • Ethyl alcohol: 80%
  • Grain dust: 63%
  • Isocyanates: 100%
  • Portland cement: 90%
  • Silicon carbide (respirable fibres): 99%
  • Various VOCs: up to 90%
  • Turpentine: 80%
  • Wood dust (hardwoods): 50%
  • Wood dust (softwoods): 90%

These reductions are intended to ensure safer working environments, resulting in positive outcomes for employee long term health and enjoyment of life, and increased productivity.

In the immediate future it may prove necessary to reassess current environmental protection systems to ensure they are compliant and fit for purpose.

Fowlerex can help you with any requirement for needs analysis, component and system upgrade.