Research Project – Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) dust at drilling sites

The Australian Contaminated Land Consultants Association (ACLCA) are continuing an important project that commenced in 2023 and involves monitoring the generation of airborne respirable crystalline silica (RCS) dust at drilling sites.  While the data gathered in the 2023 was limited and preliminary (i.e. monitored six day-long shifts drilling in a limited range of geological settings) elevated levels of RCS were reported at some locations and as such further investigation was recommended to identify and better understand the specific tasks and settings potentially generating unsafe RCS levels.

The proposed next stage of investigation will target specific tasks (e.g. drilling, well construction, grout mixing, etc.) conducted within a shift, a broader range of drilling methods and a range of contrasting geologies.  The monitoring will be conducted at discounted rates by ACLCA member companies (Prensa, WSP and Helia) with experience and capability in this field.  ACLCA Victoria are committing a budget of $20,000 (ex GST) to the project, which is sufficient to monitor, analyse and report on six day-long shifts.  We would also like to recognise the financial contributions of Star Drilling, Matrix Drilling and South Western Drilling in driving safety excellence in our Contaminated Land industry and for their support to this study. Thank you.

If you wish to view the first phase of this study carried out in 2023, please refer to our Resources page, Member Presentations Current. From there you can scroll down and select our Member Presentation, 16 May 2023, Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) exposure monitoring at drill sites, Ruebendraa Kantahrao (Helia EHS) and Shane Collins (Prensa).