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Safe Work Australia has recommended significantly reducing the workplace exposure limits for silica and coal dust to below those recently imposed by unions and in Queensland, with the current standards exposing workers to the risk of irreversible lung damage.
The six-Bill package establishing Australia's new risk-based regulatory scheme for industrial chemicals has passed the Senate with tighter-than-planned rules for "introducers". Meanwhile, NSW has made further amendments to its dangerous goods regulations.
A significant proportion of Australian workers are exposed to noise levels above regulated occupational limits, and nearly all of those are at risk of further hearing loss through exposure to chemicals.