Qld retailers to phase out engineered stone products

Friday, 17 November, 2023

Qld retailers to phase out engineered stone products

Retailers including Bunnings and IKEA have joined Queensland’s campaign on engineered stone, announcing plans to phase out sales of engineered stone benchtops. This follows Queensland’s longstanding campaign to ban the product. Working with engineered stone can cause serious health conditions, including silicosis. Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace welcomed the retailers’ leadership in addressing the issue which Queensland first put on the national agenda in 2018.

Grace said the state will continue to advocate for a ban on engineered stone and will work with all jurisdictions, including the Commonwealth, to achieve this. “All workers have a right to turn up to a safe and healthy workplace, which is why Queensland has long been calling for a ban on engineered stone. This is a dangerous product that’s known to cause the potentially fatal disease silicosis, and it has no place in our workplaces. Major retailers are starting to vote with their feet and it’s encouraging to see them joining Queensland’s campaign on engineered stone. We hope to see other suppliers following the example set by these major retailers because there is nothing more important than protecting workers on the job,” Grace said.

Queensland has audited all known engineered stone benchtop fabricators, screened over 1000 workers, established Australia’s first Dust Lung Disease Register, and allocated $5 million for dust lung disease research. Queensland also implemented a code of practice for the engineered stone industry in 2019 and a code of practice for silica in the construction industry on 1 May 2023.

Image credit: iStock.com/Mogala

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