Engineered stone ban now in effect across Australia

Wednesday, 10 July, 2024

Engineered stone ban now in effect across Australia

The manufacture, supply, processing and installation of engineered stone benchtops, panels and slabs is now prohibited in every state and territory in Australia. The ban on engineered stone does not apply to the controlled processing of previously installed engineered stone benchtops, panels or slabs for the purposes of removal, repair or minor modification, or the controlled processing of installed or uninstalled engineered stone benchtops, panels or slabs for the purposes of disposal.

The ban recognises that working with engineered stone poses an unacceptable health risk to workers; it will help ensure that workers, their families and the broader Australian community are not exposed to the respirable crystalline silica that is generated when engineered stone is processed with power tools.

Each jurisdiction has implemented the engineered stone ban in their respective work health and safety laws, based on amendments to the model WHS Regulations published by Safe Work Australia. A summary of how the ban will be implemented in each state and territory is available on Safe Work Australia’s engineered stone ban website.

Marie Boland, Safe Work Australia CEO, said the ban will protect workers from exposure to respirable crystalline silica that can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause irreversible lung damage. Boland added that Safe Work Australia has developed a range of resources to support persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) to understand their work health and safety obligations relating to the engineered stone ban.

“We recognise the collaborative efforts of WHS ministers, our Safe Work Australia Members including social partners representing Australian employers and workers who have worked together to ban engineered stone and create safer and healthier workplaces. Safe Work Australia is committed to creating safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians. Through our development of national policy and model WHS legislation, we work to reduce the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness, and exposure to hazards and risks, such as respirable crystalline silica, in Australian workplaces,” Boland said.

For more information and resources, visit Safe Work Australia’s engineered stone ban website.

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