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Engineered stone ban a great step, but go further on silica’s harms: PHAA

Public Health Association of Australia < 1 mins read

13 December 2023

The country’s peak body for public health welcomes the announcement of the ban of engineered stone in Australia, following a decision from the country’s Work Health and Safety Ministers. 

“We congratulate the Ministers for supporting the recommendation by SafeWork Australia and all the researchers, clinicians, and unions who fought for this important world leading reform,” Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) CEO, Adj Prof Terry Slevin said.

“Most importantly, we thank and recognise the workers themselves, who suffered silicosis and other respiratory conditions, for fighting for the rights of those who follow them, to avoid the same fate.

“The extreme levels of silica in these products has led to an enormous increase in tradespeople working with these products having their lungs irreparably damaged. This was unequivocally caused by using these products, in their normal work. That cannot and should not continue, so this ban shows the system can work.

“This is an important day to be celebrated.

“But it is also a call to action to work harder to reduce the known burden of those who, in their daily work are exposed to silica, and other substances injurious to the health of those who are exposed to them. 

“Engineered stone is the most obvious and clear example of a dangerous product. There are others. Perhaps less immediate in their impact, perhaps less potent, but still unfairly stealing the good health of honest, hard-working people in Australia. 

“Efforts to reduce that harm to make work – all work – safer and healthier remain an important priority.”

 

 

For further information/comment:

Paris Lord (he/him), PHAA Communications & Media Manager, 0478 587 917, plord@phaa.net.au  


Contact details:

Paris Lord (he/him), PHAA Communications & Media Manager, 0478 587 917, plord@phaa.net.au  

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