Quarry operator charged over silica exposure

A Montrose quarry operator has been charged with six contraventions of the OHS Act after workers were exposed to respirable crystalline silica.
News article published

Thursday 26 Aug 2021

Industries and topics
  • Mining and quarries
  • Crystalline silica

Boral Resources (Vic) Pty Ltd has been charged with:

  • Two contraventions of section 21(2)(a) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, when it failed to provide and maintain systems of work that were, so far as was reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.
  • Contravening section 21(2)(e) of the OHS Act, when it failed to supervise workers to enable them to perform their work in a way that was safe and without risks to health.
  • Three contraventions of section 26 of the OHS Act, when it failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that the workplace and the means of entering and leaving it were safe and without risk to health.

The charges follow a WorkSafe investigation into work practices at the quarry between January 2016 and November 2019.

WorkSafe alleges the company failed to implement control measures, including the use of respiratory protective equipment, to reduce the risk of workers being exposed to dust generated during blasting, crushing, mixing, screening and transferring quarried rock.

It is further alleged the company failed to control the risk despite obtaining air monitoring results which indicated the dust contained respirable crystalline silica in excess of the Workplace Exposure Standards for airborne contaminants that could cause serious injury or death to workers at the quarry.

The case has been listed for a filing hearing at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 22 September 2021.