Respiratory hazards: Our commitments

Learn how WorkSafe is planning to achieve the aims and goals of The way forward: Priority three Respiratory hazards.

Regulatory activities and outputs: Raise awareness and seek compliance

Compliance strategy

  • Review and develop compliance tools (e.g. policies, procedures, templates, regulatory systems).
  • Review mining health monitoring data and requirements for alignment with national exposure standards.
  • Review compliance and performance metrics.
  • Receive and provide information to professional associations (e.g. Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists [AIOH] and Faculty of Asbestos Management of Australia and New Zealand [FAMANZ]).
  • Develop an efficient system to allow submission of health monitoring reports to the regulator, review by the inspectorate, and monitoring of trends to inform compliance activities.
  • Maintain collaboration and cooperation with local government authorities and State Government agencies.
  • Deliver a business transformation program including new operational software (Compliance and Regulation System, CARS).

Information and education 

  • Plan and deliver general and targeted education campaigns to improve hazard awareness and control selection using direct engagement and messaging, and social media.
  • Develop and update information and educational resources for silica, focussing on:
    • safe by design (e.g. choose a safer material instead of high silica engineered stone)
    • safe use of engineered stone in factory environment and on site
    • controlling silica in construction work (e.g. concrete cutting, wall chasing)
    • dust management in assay laboratories
    • controlling silica in quarrying, crushing and screening activities.
  • Develop and update information and educational resources for asbestos, focussing on:
    • management of ACM in situ
    • removal of ACM
    • management of naturally occurring asbestos and contaminated sites.
  • Develop and update information and educational resources for lead, arsenic, nickel, lithium, radioactive minerals and wood dust, including health monitoring information where applicable. Initial priority will be given to the metallic and semi-metallic dust, with wood dust information to follow.
  • Deliver regular registered medical practitioners’ forums.
  • Deliver an educational webinar or forum for industry.
  • Continue to support the Asbestos Diseases Society of Australia with its activities.

Stakeholder engagement tools

  • Develop themed one-stop shops of information and educational resources using the SafetyLine Hub.
  • Integrate risk management of dusts into the SafetyLine Plan.

Regulatory activities and outputs: Workforce development

Workforce development

  • Undertake operational planning (scope, capacity, capability, resources) to support delivery of compliance campaigns for silica, asbestos and other hazardous dusts.
  • Develop learning plans and pathways that support compliance and enforcement activities for silica, asbestos and other hazardous dusts.
  • Identify professional development requirements and deliver inspector skills sessions.
  • Identify and provide professional development opportunities for WorkSafe’s specialists.
  • Promote interactions between specialists and industry teams within WorkSafe.
  • Maintain equipment and technical skills of inspectors to support verification of controls testing.

Regulatory activities and outputs: Drive compliance and enforce legislation


  • Provide data intelligence to inspectors based on team or directorate business needs.
  • Follow up notified health monitoring reports indicating excessive silica exposure with a site visit where practicable.
  • Once data is available via a national registry of dust diseases, review notified diseases and, where practicable, visit workplaces where the exposure occurred.
  • Confirm Western Australian suppliers of engineered stone meet labelling and safety data sheet requirements.
  • Take enforcement action where ACM is handled unsafely or is unlawfully removed by an unlicensed PCBU.
  • Conduct regular compliance checks on asbestos removal licence holders and licensed asbestos assessors.
  • As part of routine inspections, check that duty holders have an appropriate asbestos management plan (for in situ and naturally occurring asbestos).
  • Conduct targeted inspections of industries with significant potential for nickel, lead or arsenic exposure.
  • Confirm compliant radiation management plans are in place for mines where required.
  • Investigate notified biological exceedances of nickel, lead, arsenic or other toxic dusts.
  • Investigate reported exposure incidents for hazardous dust to confirm adequate prevention measures have been implemented.
  • Require duty holders to conduct air monitoring on a risk basis.
  • Conduct limited air monitoring to verify industry data and enable exposures to be well understood.
  • Encourage mine operators to continue to submit all sampling results to the mine worker exposure database, and investigate exceedances.

Investigations and prosecutions

  • Provide data intelligence to inspectors based on team or directorate business needs.
  • Review information and educational resources using learnings and outcomes of investigations and prosecutions.
  • Where legally permissible, publicise learnings and outcomes of investigations and prosecutions.

Monitoring, evaluation and reporting


  • Regularly review compliance data and monitor trends, with a focus on:
    • engineered stone
    • ACM
    • mining
    • other dusts of concern.
  • Provide periodic updates to stakeholders such as members of the WHS Commission, MAPAC, the Construction Industry Safety Advisory Committee (CISAC), unions and other relevant bodies.
  • Publish annual snapshots of compliance and performance progress, and achievements.


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