Beards banned at Cadia

Cadia workers have been forced to go clean shaven this week after the mine site introduced a beard-free policy for some areas.

Hundreds of workers were told facial hair was no longer permitted as beards had the potential to compromise the effectiveness of dust masks.

Newcrest implemented the safety measure after a worker recently tested positive to respiratory disease.

A spokesperson said due to privacy and confidentiality reasons they could not provide personal or medical details of the individual.

The Cadia employee was confirmed as having a respiratory disease following tests of almost half of the mine's workforce.

The majority of the respiratory tests, which included chest x-rays, were conducted through a NSW government initiative over the past year.

The Newcrest spokesperson said dust management and the health and safety of their workers are issues of "paramount importance", which is why the clean shaven policy was introduced.

The Newcrest spokesperson said the clean shaven policy was just one initiative introduced to protect employees following workplace consultation.

"The dust management strategy also includes the routine assessment of our people to identify signs of any exposure to airborne contaminants," the spokesperson said.

The dust management strategy also includes the routine assessment of our people to identify signs of any exposure to airborne contaminants.

Cadia spokesperson

All personnel who are required to work in areas of the site identified as requiring respirators or dust masks will have to shave their beards.

The mass shave will occur over three months, with the cut-off for the beard-off happening for some departments last week.

For remaining bearded workers, a final date to go clean-skinned has been set for September 30.

The Newcrest spokesperson said it was currently working with its partners to ensure the policy was communicated to all affected personnel, including the around 800 contractors employed at the site each month.

Figures on how many of its 1270 full-time equivalent employees the ban will affect are not available.