Under the model WHS Regulations, a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) must provide health monitoring for workers if they carry out ongoing work using, handling, generating or storing crystalline silica, and there is a significant risk to the worker’s health because of exposure.
Health monitoring is carried out or supervised by a registered medical practitioner. It involves examining and monitoring workers to see if exposure to crystalline silica at work is affecting their health.
The guide provides registered medical practitioners with practical guidance on requirements under the work health and safety laws for health monitoring of workers exposed to crystalline silica.
How to use this guide
This guide includes references to the legal requirements under the WHS Act and WHS Regulations. These are included for convenience only and should not be relied on in place of the full text of the WHS Act or WHS Regulations.
The words ‘must’, ‘requires’ or ‘mandatory’ indicate a legal requirement exists that must be complied with. The word ‘should’ is used in this guide to indicate a recommended course of action, while ‘may’ is used to indicate an optional course of action.
This guide provides information for those registered medical practitioners engaged by a PCBU to carry out or supervise health monitoring for workers. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the following:
- Health monitoring guide for registered medical practitioners
- Health monitoring guides for hazardous chemicals
- Health monitoring guide for workers
- Health monitoring guide for persons conducting business or undertakings (PCBUs).
Health monitoring under the WHS Regulations
In certain circumstances, the model WHS Regulations place duties on a PCBU to provide health monitoring to workers. These requirements arise if the worker is carrying out work with hazardous chemicals including lead and asbestos. In addition, the work being carried out must be the kind of work specified in the WHS Regulations. A PCBU has the duty to determine if health monitoring is required.
The WHS Regulations prescribe that health monitoring is carried out by or supervised by a registered medical practitioner with experience in health monitoring.
Further information may also be available from the WHS authority in your jurisdiction. If you need help deciding what you need to do at your workplace, contact your WHS regulator.