“The fight against death and illness resulting from exposure to silica dust and carbon monoxide in the workplace is ongoing. We know that our technology is best placed to lead the charge.” – Craig Penty, MD of Guarda Group Holdings
An Australian Company Leading the Fight Against Silicosis
With an alarming spike in silicosis cases among tradespeople in Australia, the upcoming launch of an innovative new product designed to significantly reduce the risk of silica dust exposure is set to garner international interest and support.
Silica is found in products such as bricks, tiles, concrete and engineered stone products commonly used in kitchen and bathroom benchtop fabrication. Long-term exposure to the silica dust particles generated when these products are cut can cause silicosis, a progressive and irreversible lung disease.
Approximately 6.6 percent of Australian workers are exposed to silica dust in what is considered the worst occupational lung disease crisis since the onset of the asbestos disaster.
WorkCover Queensland received 22 silicosis claims in September this year, including six claims from people diagnosed as terminal.
Silicosis has been in the media spotlight recently, with 36 year old Gold Coast stonemason, Anthony White, sharing polarising images of himself in hospital suffering from silicosis. Mr White shared his story in the hope that legislative changes would be made to protect workers.
“I want to make sure no one else has to go through this,” Mr White said. “I had no idea it could make you this sick.”
Fighting Silicosis with Product Innovation
Managing Director of Guarda Group Holdings, Craig Penty, said Australia is seeing an increase in tradespeople being diagnosed with silicosis, particularly in the stonemason industry.
“We’ve been lobbying the Government and WorkSafe for years and we are now seeing progress with the Western Australian Government bringing in new legislation in 2019 and toughening the standards,” Mr Penty said.
Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, has ordered an industry-wide audit and immediate investigation into the health risks to tradespeople and associated unsafe work practices.
In the fight to protect Australian workers at risk, Guarda Group Holdings has developed a range of innovative products that mitigate the risks of silica dust and carbon monoxide. The Edge Saw is a purpose-designed concrete saw that removes silica dust and exhausts carbon monoxide and transports the toxic elements outside via a vacuum system during the cutting process.
Guarda Group Holdings is launching the Edge Saw in January 2019 and is looking to expand their innovative product line. Craig Penty said the company has a real opportunity to expand in Australia as the market is facing a critical need.
“Australian businesses have specific duties and obligations to manage risks and reduce worker exposure to hazardous chemicals like silica dust and we already have distributors in place who can see the market potential of our product,” Mr Penty said.
Guarda Group Holdings is working alongside Funding Strategies, a specialist business advisory group assisting the company with expansion.
According to Dr Mark Rainbird, director of Funding Strategies, “Guarda’s solution to the silica dust issue is proven, unique and cutting edge. It’s an example of an innovative Australian success story now gaining significant acknowledgment internationally.”
Guarda Group Holdings continues to develop and launch silica dust solutions across multiple cutting application platforms. In addition to the Edge Saw, the company has also developed a solution for wall chasing and a prototype saw for stonemasons, all with the same unique technology but for different industry applications.
In a recent podcast with Eden Exchange, Craig Penty said, “Guarda Group Holdings is looking to further develop our suite of products that all work together, saving companies time and money and creating healthy and safe work environments to protect the workers from silica dust and carbon monoxide. We have independent silica dust data on the Edge Saw and the results are phenomenal.”
According to Craig, “Guarda Group Holdings is looking to strengthen our foothold in the market by forming product alliances with global market leaders in the tool industry that would benefit from associating themselves with our innovative technology. The fight against death and illness resulting from exposure to silica dust and carbon monoxide in the workplace is ongoing. We know that our technology is best placed to lead the charge.”
To arrange an interview with Managing Director of Guarda Group Holdings, Craig Penty, please contact Eden Exchange on +613 86582292 or +612 8880 5535.
More information on Guarda Group Holdings, their products and their fight against silica dust related health problems can be found at the links below
Listen to Craig Penty’s Podcast with Eden Exchange.
About Guarda Group Holdings
Guarda Group Holdings is the holding company of several subsidiary companies that develop, manufacture and sell concrete cutting saws and related equipment. The Company also offers safer wall chasing services to domestic builders via the Envirochasing brand. Guarda products mitigate deadly Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Crystalline Silica Dust that saw operators are exposed to. Guarda products and services are covered by extensive patents and are highly sought after in both domestic and international markets.
Visit Funding Strategies to find out more.
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