$375K FINE ISSUED IN SILICOSIS PROSECUTION

In a NSW District Court judgment, Edstein Creative has been fined $375,000 for failing to protect workers from exposure to dangerous silica dust, leading to one employee developing silicosis.

The company failed to properly protect workers who cut engineered stone products at customers' sites, exposing them to silica dust for many years. An installer has developed silicosis due to exposure, suffering lung damage and other health problems.

The company did not implement adequate safety measures, such as using water to control dust and providing proper protective equipment.

SafeWork Australia charged the company with breaching workplace safety laws, resulting in the first category-2 prosecution in NSW related to silica dust exposure.

Edstein pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined $375,000, reduced by 25% for a guilty plea. The judge noted that the company's actions put workers at serious risk of illness and death, despite knowing the dangers.

As HSRs will be well aware, silicosis is an incurable, potentially fatal disease caused by inhaling silica dust, and the company's failure to protect workers was deemed a serious offense.

Source: OHS Alert 20 May 

Read the court judgement here

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