Safety campaign launched ahead of engineered stone ban

Wednesday, 07 February, 2024

Safety campaign launched ahead of engineered stone ban

WorkSafe Victoria has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the approaching 1 July ban on engineered stone while reminding employers of their obligations to protect workers. The campaign aims to reach workers who work with engineered stone, including those in regional communities, and will be translated for culturally and linguistically diverse communities heavily involved in the industry.

National workplace safety ministers will attend a meeting in February to finalise details of the ban, involving the manufacturing, supply, processing and installation of engineered stone. Businesses and consumers have been asked not to enter into contracts for engineered stone products, given the contracts may not be able to be legally fulfilled. Victoria’s regulations and licensing scheme for businesses working with crystalline silica will remain in force. The regulations include a ban on the uncontrolled dry-cutting of engineered stone.

Following national agreement, the state government will enforce the prohibition on the use of all engineered stone through amendments to occupational health and safety laws. Workers in the industry are able to have a comprehensive health assessment at the Alfred Occupational Respiratory Clinic, offered in a partnership between WorkSafe Victoria and the Alfred. The clinic provides a range of diagnostic tools and specialist services that are not readily available to GPs, increasing the chance of early identification while saving time and reducing stress for workers and their families.

The WorkSafe campaign will run across print, online and social media, including translations in Mandarin, Vietnamese and Italian. Minister for WorkSafe and the TAC Danny Pearson said the campaign is about making sure workers know their rights and employers their responsibilities — before and after 1 July. “No worker should worry that one day they won’t be able to breathe simply because they’ve done their job,” Pearson said.

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