The Australian Institute of Health & Safety Celebrates Australia Leading the Way to Ban the Use of Engineered Stone
Today the Australian Institute of Health & Safety (AIHS) celebrates Australia becoming the first country to announce a ban on engineered stone following a surge in workers developing the lung disease silicosis.
A decision was made yesterday by Work Health and Safety (WHS) Ministers following a report released in late October by Safe Work Australia recommending a complete prohibition on the use of all engineered stone in Australia.
Although silicosis is a completely preventable disease, as many as 1 in 4 stonemasons working with engineered stone are contracting a form of silicosis that develops after relatively short exposure periods, is severe and worsens relatively quickly.
The AIHS acts as a voice for the WHS profession and is committed to working with industry to value health, safety and wellbeing by implementing controls necessary to prevent and reduce harm. This decision marks a significant step forward.
Safe Work Australia will now draft amendments to the model WHS Regulations. The amendments will then be implemented in each jurisdiction’s WHS laws. Safe Work Australia will also develop a national framework to ensure anyone working with engineered stone products installed prior to the prohibition is doing so safely.
AIHS CEO Julia Whitford today celebrated the decision saying “The AIHS has been aware of the dangers of engineered stone and campaigned strongly for greater precaution and regulation around its use. The decision by WHS ministers yesterday is an important win for thousands of workers and will make workplaces around the country safer.”
The ban will start on July 1 2024 in most states and territories.
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About the AIHS:
With a 75-year history, the Australian Institute of Health & Safety is Australia’s national association for the health and safety profession, with a vision for safe and healthy people in productive workplaces and communities.