Thursday, 18 July 2024
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AustraliaConstruction

Australia is the first country to prohibit engineered stone

  • Safe Work Australia will now develop amendments to the Model WHS Regulations. Amendments will be implemented in each Australian state’s WHS laws.
  • Mary Bolland, Chief Executive of Safe Work Australia, said: “Today, WHS Ministers from the Commonwealth, States and Territories have accepted Safe Work Australia’s recommendation to ban the use of all Engineered stone to shield the health and protection of workers.
  • Expert analysis shows that silica dust from quarried stone poses unique hazards and there is no evidence that low-silica quarried stone is safe to work with.

A ban on etched stone, a popular material for bathrooms and kitchen worktops, has been agreed by ministers. Safe Work Australia has undertaken state-by-state implementation.

Safe Work Australia recommended the ban to protect thousands of workers from respirable crystalline silica (silica dust) under Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws.

Work Health and Safety (WHS) regulations

Exposure to silica dust from quarried stone has led to a rapid increase in the number of workers developing silicosis, a serious lung disease in Australia.

Safe Work Australia will now develop amendments to the Model WHS Regulations. Amendments will be implemented in each Australian state’s WHS laws.

Safe Work Australia will develop a national framework to ensure anyone working with engineered stone products installed before the ban can work safely.

Until the ban comes into effect, workers and businesses can continue to work on carved stone in a restricted manner.

Mary Bolland, Chief Executive of Safe Work Australia, said: “Today, WHS Ministers from the Commonwealth, States and Territories have accepted Safe Work Australia’s recommendation to ban the use of all Engineered stone to shield the health and protection of workers.

Exposure to respirable crystalline silica in the workplace has led to an unacceptable increase in the incidence of silicosis and other silica-related diseases.

 Expert analysis shows that silica dust from quarried stone poses unique hazards and there is no evidence that low-silica quarried stone is safe to work with.

“This ban will make Australian workplaces safer and healthier.”The general public of silicosis instances diagnosed in latest years are in quarry workers. Most of these cases are in young workers, who experience rapid disease progression and high mortality.

“The industry value, whilst actual and relevant, cannot outweigh the giant expenses to workers, their households, and the wider Australian community that result from exposure to respirable crystalline silica from engineered stone.

 “Now that a prohibition has been agreed upon using method of WHS ministers, safe artwork Australia will expand amendments to the version WHS regulations and expand steerage to manual PCBUs and people to apprehend and prepare for the trade.”

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