Start your online, on-demand silica awareness training today!

Asbestos and Silica Awareness are passionate about giving Australians nationally recognised knowledge, skills and tools to stay safe around silica products and instilling confidence in our students to support and protect their co-workers, clients and families from silica exposure.

In the past, companies or individuals seeking to complete silica awareness training would have had to arrange for a facilitator to come on-site or arrange for staff and enrolled parties to attend the course at a training facility.

This traditional training model can cost businesses significantly in terms of lost productivity, time in commute, and even impact personal staff time.

Our Silica specialists at Asbestos and Silica Awareness have developed the silica awareness course that is 100% online and on-demand, meaning students can move through the course at their own pace, from the comfort of their own laptop, tablet or smartphone.

What sets this course apart from others is that you can start today online. Once the course has been successfully completed you will receive your certificate.

The importance of asbestos awareness training!

Silica is in many of our building, construction and fabrication materials in Australia. Many Australians are at risk of silica exposure because of the diversity of natural and artificial products containing silica.

Though the dangers of silica dust exposure are well known, silica has been getting a lot more press in recent times due to people getting ill from exposure to silica dust.

When inhaled, silica is harmful to human health and linked to various adverse health conditions, mostly involving the lungs. Sickness from silica exposure happens slowly, and many of the associated conditions are fatal.

It is vital for people working in trades or industries with high silica exposure risks to be educated about the identification of silica products, the precautions to take, the legalities and SafeWork and Government protocols that have been put in place surrounding the silica exposure problem.

With so many common building and construction materials using silica products, exposure to trade and industry workers has been high across many industries.

Examples of industries with a high risk of silica exposure include, but are not limited to:

  • Cement or stone benchtop fabrication and installation
  • Brick manufacturers
  • Building and construction
  • Brick and mortar work
  • Concreting
  • Landscaping and gardening
  • Earthworks
  • Tilers and pavers
  • Demolition workers
  • Road and civil construction
  • All mining industries
  • Sandblasting and casting
  • Glass and ceramics industries
  • Farming and more

If you work in or adjacent to any of these industries, it is highly recommended that you undertake a silica awareness course.

Silica awareness course overview

Our silica awareness specialists have designed this 100% online and on-demand silica awareness course to be engaging and easy to follow, with the ability to go through the modules at your own pace.

Our aim is that this will take some pressure off students and businesses by allowing people to absorb the course's vital content, helping to produce informed and confident silica awareness specialists. Simply provide your payment will be prior to the commencement of the course, and you'll be off and running with your training!

This course will teach you vital information, critical safety information, legal obligation, duty of care specifications, and comprehensive instruction on protecting yourself and others from silica exposure.

Silica compounds

The number one rule of silica awareness is to know your enemy. Therefore, we will investigate all relative information about silica, like:

what it is made of, where silica is found, and many other facts and figures regarding silica compounds.

What products and materials contain silica

In this silica course, you will gain an in-depth knowledge of silica-containing products and have an understanding of the highest risk materials used across various trades and industries.

This knowledge will help you better identify silica-based products and compounds and negate the risks associated with silica exposure, both for your protection and the protection of others.

Primary health hazards associated with exposure to silica and respirable crystalline silica dust

By the end of this silica awareness course, you will have a comprehensive knowledge of the health implications of silica exposure and be able to effectively communicate the risks to others, helping you be an active force in preventing silica exposure in your industry or place of work.

Common industries and tasks that could result in exposure

This silica awareness course will take a deep look at the various trades and situations where silica exposure is a high risk. This information will give you a birds-eye view of the silica exposure issues across multiple industries.

Identifying and addressing silica dangers

This course will teach you how to identify and address potential and immediate silica dangers and give you the knowledge and skills to spot silica-containing products, notify site authorities of potential hazards, and more.

Silica control measures

As an extension to identifying and addressing silica dangers, you will also be taught current SafeWork Australia protocols for silica control management, providing you with skills to action protocols that could protect your health and save the life of yourself and others.

Implementing safe practices around products and materials containing silica

If you are a company owner, manager, site supervisor, or project manager, this online silica awareness course will give you cutting edge, practical, strategic skills and protocols to ensure that you, your worksite, and your workers are safe when high-risk silica exposure is likely.

Personal protective equipment (PPE), respirators and safe tool operation in regards to silica

Part of learning to implement safe practices is having a firm understanding of personal protective equipment, tools, and safety measures you can put in place to minimise or nullify silica exposure.

These section of the course will address such topics as:

  • PPE that is suitable for protection against silica exposure
  • Ventilators and other breathing apparatus
  • Workspace ventilation and safe dust extraction
  • Workspace barriers and shields
  • Safe tool practices
  • Optimising workspace silica OH&S and much more

The best defence against silica exposure is avoiding contact and removing hazards.

Legal obligations and protocols around silica 

Because of the highly hazardous nature of silica exposure, there are many government-mandated and Safe Work Australia laws and regulations surrounding silica dust, including:

  • General Duty of Care
  • Codes of Practice
  • Silica Registers
  • Silica Notification to Workers
  • Waste Removal and Disposal
  • Prohibition of Work
  • Duty To Identify
  • Equipment Restrictions
  • Duty To Train
  • SCP OH&S Information
  • Silica Management Plans
  • Demolition and Refurbishment involving SCPs
  • Silica Particle Levels and much more

By the end of this silica awareness course, you will have the knowledge, information, skills, and confidence to become a silica awareness expert, making you a key player in managing and improving Australia's silica exposure problem.

What is silica?

Silica, or silicon dioxide, is a naturally occurring compound found in natural and fabricated products. While there are many sub-variants of silica, all will fall under two categories; non-crystalline and crystalline.

Crystalline silica is a stable compound of silicon and oxygen. Silica is bound by silicon and oxygen bonds to form polymorphs, which is the ability of a specific chemical to crystalise in more than one form.

Silica's chemical structure is organised in a framework pattern, the arrangement of which sees oxygen and silicon atoms form in three directions which create crystalline silica. Silica makes up 59%of the earth's crust, making it one of nature's most abundant compounds, with quartz being one of the most concentrated forms of natural crystalline silica.

Silica is found at various levels in many natural products, including:

  • Natural stone
  • Asphalt compounds
  • Cement
  • Mortar 
  • Grout
  • Concrete 
  • Concrete blocks and fibre cement products
  • Bricks, pavers and tiles
  • Sand and metal
  • Natural unrefined sand and more

As you can see, silica is abundant in compounds and products made primarily of natural earth elements. However, while silica is harmless in its solid or contained form, silica dust is highly hazardous to humans in powder form.

Silica dust is often created by industrial manipulation, like:

  • Cutting
  • Grinding
  • Breaking
  • Smashing
  • Sanding
  • Scraping

One of the primary industries where silica dust exposure is high is the stone benchtop industry, which has had a lot of press in Australia in recent decades due to natural or fabricated stone benchtops concentrated silica content.

Unlike asbestos, silica is so naturally abundant it is hard to ban, regulate or restrict. The best way to avoid silica exposure is through personal protection, safety protocols and proper education.

Silica in Australia

The Australian Government and SafeWork Australia have a silica workplace exposure standard for respirable crystalline silica, which states that airborne silica levels must not exceed 0.05 mg/m3v over an eight-hour time-weighted average.

There are also minimum health monitoring requirements, which include:

  • Collection of demographic, medical and occupational history 
  • Records of personal exposure to silica 
  • A standardised respiratory questionnaire 
  • A standardised respiratory function test
  • Chest X-Ray full PA view for baseline and high-risk workers

For further information about duties for health monitoring, head to

Silica particles are 100-times smaller than a grain of sand. When inhaled or ingested, silica wrecks havoc on the lungs and other parts of the body. 

According to the Australia Cancer Council, in 2011, it was estimated that approximately 587,000 Australian workers were exposed to silica dust. It is predicted that around 5758 of these workers will develop lung cancer due to the exposure.

Silica and the artificial stone benchtop industry

Silicosis has been strongly linked to the mining industry; however, in 2015, the first of many workers in the artificial stone benchtop industry was found to have severe silicosis, and the cases continue to rise.

Artificial stone benchtops are considerably cheaper than a natural stone slab; therefore, they are popular for home builders and have been installed in thousands of Australian homes.

Though artificial stone benchtops pose little to no threat to homeowners, it is apparent that they could be life-altering and potentially fatal to our tradies and workers in the artificial stone benchtop industry.

Artificial stone benchtops are generally made from approximately 95% quartz aggregates bound together with colour pigments and polymer resins. 

Quartz is one of the most silica concentrated natural substances. These artificial stone benchtops, fabricators, and installers are exposed to 95% crystalline silica when they create dust via cutting, chipping, breaking, or grinding the synthetic stone composites. 

If you work in the artificial stone benchtop industry or adjacent to it, then this course will provide you with valuable knowledge and skillsets in one of the highest silica exposure risk industries in the world.

Read on to learn more about the adverse health conditions associated with silica exposure, and learn about our online silica awareness course content.

Silica and dangers to human health

Silica exposure and its adverse effects on human health are well documented, with Dr Bernardino Ramazzini, considered the founder of occupational medicine, identifying silicosis in stone cutters in the early 1700s.

Dr Alice Hamilton, a pioneer in health and safety reforms, documented silica-related illnesses in the early 1900s in US granite workers. By the 1930s, ventilation protocols and technologies were starting to be implemented in industries with high silica exposure risk.

Although many adverse health conditions are directly linked to silica exposure, silicosis is the most well-known.

What is silicosis?

Silicosis is categorised as a type of pulmonary fibrosis, which is a lung disease caused as a result of silica inhalation. Over time, silica particles cause scarring, inflammation and nodules in the lungs, reducing the lung's ability to function optimally.

In extreme cases, this progressive scarring leads to severe fibrosis, known as Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF). Patients with this condition suffer extreme scarring and subsequent stiffening or hardening of the lung tissue, making breathing increasingly harder.

In 2019, it was estimated that there were approximately 350-cases of silicosis nationwide, with cases on the rise. Though there is a treatment to slow down the effects of silicosis when detected early, there is no cure, and it cannot be reversed.

Although silicosis is the most prominent lung disease from silica dust, other adverse and potentially fatal health conditions can arise due to silica exposure.

A summary of the many adverse health conditions associated with silica exposure include:

  • Acute silicosis 
  • Accelerated silicosis 
  • Chronic silicosis 
  • Lung cancer 
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Emphysema 
  • Kidney damage
  • Scleroderma and more

Symptoms of silicosis progress slowly and can take between ten to thirty years to become apparent. Unfortunately, these diseases and lung conditions can have a faster onset or be exacerbated in smokers.

While some advocates have pushed for a ban on silica-containing products, similar to asbestos, the natural abundance of silica in such a wide range of products makes a ban unlikely and difficult to manage.

The best defence against silica exposure is education, protection and skills, all of which can be learned in our silica online course. Read on to learn more about our 100% online, on-demand silica awareness course.

Why choose Asbestos and Silica Awareness for your silica course provider?

Asbestos and Silica Awareness are dedicated to providing world-class online safety training that lets people learn at their own pace, allowing the course information to be integrated without the pressures and time restraints of a traditional classroom setting.

We understand that a rushed class can mean vital information often gets lost in the days, weeks and months following the course, reducing students' ability to be competent and confident as active silica awareness specialists.

Experience the difference with online and on-demand study. Start your 10830NAT silica awareness training today, and become a part of the nation's silica hazard solution.

Asbestos and Silica Awareness: World-class silica awareness training

Asbestos and Silica Awareness are passionate about protecting all Australian tradies, professionals and citizens from silica exposure hazards. 

Our silica awareness course has been designed to be engaging, easy to follow and easy to absorb, ensuring you are confident in your silica awareness abilities, skills and responsibilities.

For more information, send your inquiry via our online contact form or speak to one of our Asbestos and Silica Awareness representatives.

Get the course today

$ 55.00 AUD
$ 299.00 AUD
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Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get my licence when I complete this asbestos awareness course?

No, asbestos awareness is not a licence to work in the asbestos management industry. Once you have successfully completed all three of our asbestos awareness modules, you will receive a Statement of Completion by Asbestos and Silica Awareness.

Can you do asbestos awareness online?

Our course is online and on-demand, meaning all modules consist of prerecorded video content, slide shows and presentations followed by a series of multiple-choice examinations.

You can work through this course online in your own time; there is no need to attend online meetings or join an online classroom. Instead, simply log into your course account when you are ready to continue studying until all modules are completed.

Who can do Asbestos awareness training?

While people in high-risk asbestos exposure trades and those who work in adjacent industries are likely to benefit the most from asbestos awareness training, the course is open to anyone who wishes to obtain asbestos awareness knowledge and accreditation.

Are there any prerequisites for asbestos awareness training?

Anyone can access our asbestos awareness courses; no prerequisites are needed, and no prior experience in any trade or industry is required.

How long does the asbestos awareness course take to complete?

Our asbestos awareness course is online and on-demand, meaning you can work through and finish it at your own pace. However, if you decide to work through it in one sitting, the completion time is approximately one to two hours.

Does this course qualify me to work with asbestos?

No! This course is an awareness course only and does not give someone the skills, credentials, licences or legal grounds to touch, remove, dispose of or give authority on asbestos removal or disposal in any way or form.

Is this asbestos course affordable?

Our asbestos awareness course is in line with or below the average price for other asbestos awareness courses. 

Click here to begin your 100% online, and on-demand asbestos awareness course today.

Will I receive an Asbestos Awareness e-card?

Once the course modules have been successfully completed and payment has been made, an e-card will be sent to your phone, so you can provide proof of accreditation where it is required.

Places you may be required to present an e-card include, but are not limited to:

Safety inductions
Job interviews
Random onsite ticket checks
Factories and more

Your e-card will identify your unique certification number to ensure your accreditation is recognised Australia-wide.

What do I do if I believe I have discovered asbestos before finishing my asbestos awareness course?

If you believe you, a coworker or a family member has discovered an asbestos product; you should immediately notify senior management, a site supervisor, or contact a professional asbestos removal expert to assess the situation.

Start learning today!

Our asbestos and silica awareness and safety training provides you with the knowledge and skills to identify asbestos and silica-containing materials, deal with them, and adopt safe practices.