Monday 8th March 2021

Monday 8th March 2021

Mar 8th 2021

Monday 8th March 2021

Legal action against Cleanaway for water pollution

Australia's leading waste management company, Cleanaway, has been charged with three offences from two spill incidents at its premises in Queanbeyan in May 2020.

The EPA alleges that on the 14th and 15th May 2020, solvent leaked from the premises to a stormwater system that flowed into the Molonglo River.

Cleanaway is also charged with an offence for failing to immediately notify the EPA of a pollution incident.

The maximum penalty for water pollution offence is $1 million. Failure to notify the EPA of a pollution incident can reach $2 million.

EPA Chief Executive Officer Tracy Mackey said, 'Our NSW community deserves clean waterways that aren't polluted by careless or negligent actions.'

The pollution incidents were the kickstart for a series of inspections of Cleanaway facilities at 27 locations over 50 EPA officers in June 2020.

The inspections resulted in three Cleanaway subsidiaries being fined $31,500 for alleged waste storage and record-keeping offences.

The original story can be found on the EPA website.


A woman has been diagnosed with lupus linked to silica dust exposure

WorkSafe insurers have accepted a compensation claim for an employee diagnosed with lupus after being exposed to toxic silica dust.

Dianne Adams, 58, is one of seven people who claim they developed autoimmune conditions after working at silica milling factories.

Lupus is an inflammatory disease that causes the immune system to attack its tissues. It affects the heart, lungs and brain.

In 2009, she developed lupus and was diagnosed with a lung disease a year later, which has been recognised as silicosis.

Dianne has been on unemployment benefits for ten years due to being unable to work. Her initial compensation claim was rejected, but after a revised decision on 3 March 2021 was accepted.

Head of Dust and Diseases Litigation Roger Singh said, 'This outcome will enable compensation to be obtained to enhance her quality of life, and it will also pave the way for other workers who have been suffering in silence for many, many years.'

When engineering stone products are cut, very fine dust containing 95 per cent crystalline silica is released into the air. Exposure to this can result in silicosis, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, kidney damage and scleroderma.

WorkSafe Safety minister Ingrid Stitt urges all past and present stonemasons to come forward and register for a free health check-up to protect from silica dust. This will help those diagnosed with the deadly disease get the treatment they need as soon as possible.

Does your business have a Crystalline Silica Management Plan in place?

More information can be found on the ABC website.

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