Finer details on engineered stone prohibition
In a significant development for work health and safety, ministers from commonwealth, state and territory governments convened on 13 December 2023 to address the prohibition of engineered stone.
The decisions made following this mark a significant step towards safeguarding worker health in the construction and related industries.
Rising concerns over employee health, specifically relating to silicosis and other silica-related diseases, have led to decisive action against the use of engineered stone. Based on Safe Work Australia’s findings, ministers unanimously agreed to prohibit the use, supply and manufacture of engineered stone under the model WHS laws.
This prohibition will be effective in most jurisdictions starting 1 July 2024.
The decision was influenced by substantial evidence indicating the health risks associated with engineered stone, including the absence of an evidenced safe level of crystalline silica.
Certain exceptions are allowed for legacy-engineered stone products and products with trace crystalline silica levels. A grace period for existing contracts is also under discussion, with final arrangements to be settled in March 2024.