Last week WorkSafe announced immediate changes to the Victorian OHS regulations relating to cutting, grinding and polishing engineered stone with power tools.
Under the new regulations – which are already in effect – anyone cutting engineered stone with a power tool must ensure it is fitted with either an:
Integrated water delivery system (on-tool water suppression) that supplies a continuous feed of water. Using a hose or other handheld device to direct water to the cutting point isn’t acceptable – an integrated delivery system needs to be interlocked with the power tool.
On-tool dust extractor that is attached to a HEPA filtered dust class H vacuum cleaner (or similar). There is an allowance for using an alternative extraction system, providing it effectively captures the dust directly at the source and does not expose anyone to the dust.
In addition, anyone cutting, grinding or polishing engineered stone with a power tool needs to be provided with:
Protective respiratory equipment that is designed to protect them from inhaling the dust and complies with AS/NZS 176
Health monitoring, unless you have data to prove that average silica dust exposure is less that 0.02 mg/m3 airborne concentration, over 8 hours.