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SafeWork NSW welcomes prohibition on engineered stone products in NSW from 1 July 2024

SafeWork NSW 2 mins read

SafeWork NSW has welcomed a prohibition on the use, supply and manufacture of engineered stone in NSW from 1 July 2024, after a meeting of work health and safety Ministers yesterday.

The decision follows a Safe Work Australia report which found there was no safe level of silica in engineered stone, a widely used building material known to cause silicosis.

Silicosis, caused by breathing in small particles of silica dust, has devastating effects on the lungs and is becoming increasingly prevalent in the engineered stone industry.

SafeWork NSW will continue undertaking compliance inspections in the engineered stone industry, including site visits and issuing penalties to any non-compliant operators.

Businesses and consumers are being encouraged not to enter into contracts for engineered stone which may not be able to be fulfilled and to be mindful of the upcoming prohibition on these materials.

Arrangements will be put in place for working with legacy engineered stone products, such as removal, modification, repair work and disposal.

The arrangements will be managed by individual states, under a national framework developed by Safe Work Australia, which will be provided to Ministers by the end of February 2024.

Quotes to be attributed to head of SafeWork NSW, Trent Curtin:

“SafeWork NSW welcomes yesterday's decision as a step towards safer work for those in the engineered stone industry, which will ensure the eradication of silica dust exposure from engineered stone in NSW.

“Silicosis is preventable and this decision will remove dangerous exposure to silica dust from engineered stone, saving lives in the process.

“SafeWork NSW inspectors will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to lives being placed at risk from the use, supply and manufacture of engineered stone and will take compliance and enforcement action at worksites found to be non-compliant where necessary."

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