Campaign Sends Clear Safety Message On Engineered Stone

VIC Premier

A new WorkSafe campaign will raise awareness of the approaching 1 July ban on engineered stone while reminding employers of their obligations to protect workers ahead of the ban’s commencement.

The campaign is focused on reaching workers working with engineered stone, including those in regional communities, and will be translated for culturally and linguistically diverse communities heavily involved in the industry.

The campaign will run into February ahead of a meeting of national workplace safety ministers that will finalise details of the ban on work involving the manufacturing, supply, processing and installation of engineered stone.

Businesses and consumers have been asked not to enter into contracts for engineered stone products from 1 January, given the contracts may not be able to be legally fulfilled.

Victoria led the nation in introducing the toughest regulations and the country’s first licensing scheme for businesses working with crystalline silica, and those protections remain in force. Victoria’s regulations include a ban on the uncontrolled dry-cutting of engineered stone.

Following national agreement, the Allan Labor Government will enforce the prohibition on the use of all engineered stone through amendments to occupational health and safety laws.

Workers in the industry are able to have a comprehensive health assessment at the Alfred Occupational Respiratory Clinic, offered in partnership between WorkSafe and the Alfred.

Australia’s only dedicated public hospital occupational respiratory clinic provides a range of diagnostic tools and specialist services not readily available to GPs, increasing the chance of early identification while saving time and reducing stress for workers and their families.

The WorkSafe campaign launches this week and will run across print, online and social media, including translations in Mandarin, Vietnamese and Italian.

As stated by Minister for WorkSafe and the TAC Danny Pearson

“Comprehensive health assessments are available to Victorian workers who have worked with engineered stone and the ban on the product will protect future generations of workers.”

“No worker should worry that one day they won’t be able to breathe simply because they’ve done their job.”

“This campaign is about making sure workers know their rights and employers their responsibilities – before and after 1 July.”

/Public Release. View in full here.