Engineered stone regulations kick in

SA Gov

All workers involved in cutting, grinding, trimming, sanding, or drilling engineered stone products must be provided with respiratory protective equipment, and use a dust control system such as a water suppressant or exhaust ventilation.

Under the regulations, it is an offence for an employer or contractor to direct or allow a worker to process engineered stone without specific control measures in place to minimise the risk of silica dust inhalation.

The regulations carry penalties of up to $6,000 for an individual or $30,000 for a body corporate, in addition to existing criminal offences under the WHS Act which provide for up to 5 years imprisonment and fines of up to $3 million for reckless conduct which exposes a person to the risk of death or serious injury or illness.

SafeWork SA will enforce the new regulations, which will bring SA in line with recent changes by Safe Work Australia to the model work health and safety laws.

As put by Kyam Maher

Silicosis is a rapidly growing problem across Australia.

These new regulations are an immediate step to protect the health and safety of workers, ahead of the national meeting of WHS Ministers later this year which will consider further regulatory action on engineered stone.

Pleasingly, these new regulations have widespread support from unions, business groups, and safety professionals across South Australia.

I look forward to the national meeting of WHS Ministers later this year which will consider expert advice on options for regulating engineered stone.

As put by SafeWork SA Executive Director Glenn Farrell

Exposure to silica dust can cause significant, irreparable health effects or death, and is often entirely preventable.

Workers have a right to be safe and protected on the job and to live happy and healthy lives with their families and loved ones, and not to deal with the shattering effects of this debilitating respiratory condition.

These new regulations will make very clear on the type of control measures to be in place to reduce the risk of exposure to people.

Failure to do so will result in tough penalties.

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