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Ban On Silica For Abrasive Blasting

The use of materials containing more than 1% crystalline silica for abrasive blasting is prohibited in all Victorian workplaces. This prohibition is made under Regulation 300(b) of the Occupational Health and Safety (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 1999 and applies to employers and self employed persons. The prohibition came into effect on 1 January 2002 and is published in the Victorian Government Gazette (page no.3010 G49 6 December 2001 - download the gazette at: (450kb)).

This means materials such as silica sand, river sand, beach sand and other white sands must not be used for abrasive blasting from 1 January 2002.

Blasting media that could be substituted include:

  • Garnet
  • Crushed glass
  • Glass bead
  • Metal shot
  • Steel grit
  • Aluminium oxide
  • Granulated plastic
  • Some metal slags*

*metal slags may contain high levels of toxic metals such as lead and chromium which may cause other health and safety, and environmental risks.

Any use of sand or other materials containing more than 1% crystalline silica will result in the issuing of prohibition notices and possible prosecution.

Further information

For further information and to make a complaint on the illegal use of abrasive blasting media, contact the WorkSafe Advisory Service on 1800 136 089.

Note: This material has been prepared using the best information available to WorkSafe Victoria. Any information about legislative obligations or responsibilities included in this material is only applicable to the circumstances described in the material. You should always check the legislation referred to in this material and make your own judgement about what action you may need to take to ensure you have complied with the law. Accordingly, the Victorian WorkCover Authority extends no warranties as to the suitability of the information for your specific circumstances.