The use, supply and manufacture of all engineered stone will be prohibited from 1 July 2024.
Engineered stone is defined as an artificial product that:
- contains crystalline silica
- is created by combining natural stone materials with other chemical constituents such as water, resins, or pigments
- undergoes a process to become hardened.
The ban does not apply to other silica related materials such as:
- concrete and cement products
- bricks, pavers and other similar blocks
- porcelain products
- ceramic wall and floor tiles
- roof tiles
- grout, mortar and render
Why is the ban necessary?
- Rates of silicosis and silica-related diseases in Australian workers have risen substantially in recent years, with a disproportionate number of diagnoses in engineered stone workers.
- When engineered stone is processed, the dust generated has different physical and chemical properties that likely contribute to more rapid and severe disease.
- There is no scientific evidence for a safe threshold of crystalline silica content in engineered stone, or that lower silica content engineered stone is safer to work with.
Reminder that in the lead up to the ban, for tasks where engineered stone is used:
- employers continue to have a legal duty to protect workers by managing the health and safety risks from silica dust
- workers also continue to have a legal duty to take reasonable care of their own, and others, health and safety at work.
For further information, visit NSW SafeWork silica in engineered stone workplaces page.
Want to see more information please visit ABC News Here.
If you have been affected by Silica related diseases contact our legal team at McNally Jones Staff for a consultation.