Further Details Finalised On Engineered Stone Ban

  • National Work Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation Ministers met today to decide on further details of the ban on engineered stone
  • Engineered stone will be prohibited from July 1 2024
  • Installation of engineered stone in WA will only be permitted up to the end of the year, for contracts entered into before 1 January 2024

National Work Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation Ministers today agreed to draft legislation related to banning engineered stone products and confirmed further details of the ban.

Engineered stone products will be banned in WA from 1 July. However, a transitional arrangement will allow for the installation of these products for contracts signed before January 1 this year, provided they are installed by 31 December 2024.

The Cook Government is aware that there are businesses and consumers who have already signed contracts for engineered stone products, so these contracts will be honoured during the transitional period.

These changes are intended to prevent harmful exposure to silica, and future cases of silicosis in WA.

New regulations for high-risk silica work will come into effect from 1 September. These regulations will apply only to general industries such as construction, as mining workplaces already have suitable regulations in place.

Engineered stone benchtops already installed in homes do not pose a safety hazard, as the finished product does not release dust. The ban will not apply to products that are already in their finished state, such as sinks.

Phase three of the Asbestos National Strategic Plan has also been released by the Asbestos and Silica Safety and Eradication Agency.

The strategy builds on the previous phases of this work and aims for all levels of government, along with others, to work together to eliminate asbestos-related disease in Australia.

For more information: Work Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation Ministers’ Meeting 10 May 2024 – Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, Australian Government (dewr.gov.au)

Comments attributed to Industrial Relations Minister Simone McGurk:

“The Cook Government takes protecting the health and safety of WA workers very seriously.

“We know that silicosis can kill. Banning the use of engineered stone is the best way to reduce this terrible disease.

“Fifty of the 56 silicosis cases identified in WA since 2018 have occurred in engineered stone workers – but we are also improving the regulation of silica substances.

“These changes will protect workers and give certainty to both industry and consumers as we phase out engineered stone.”

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