On Friday, the WHS (Work Health and Safety) Ministers approved the release of SafeWork Australia's paper, which was commissioned by Commonwealth, State, and Territory WHS Ministers in February of this year. The paper recommends a ban on Engineered Stone. Minister Burke stated, ‘The final report is powerful and compelling. It clearly demonstrates the need for further action to protect workers from this deadly disease.’
The ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions) welcomed SWA's report, highlighting that the recommendation is based on scientific evidence, indicating that lung diseases caused by engineered stone dust develop rapidly and are severe. Safe Work Australia considered three options but ultimately recommended a complete ban on the product because even engineered stone with low silica content poses health risks to workers.
The report underscores that engineered stone dust, which is extremely fine, can result in 1 in 4 workers in the engineered stone industry developing diseases like silicosis. Subscribers will remember that the union movement announced its intention to ban this product if state and federal governments do not act by July next year.