National Engineered Stone Ban

March 17th, 2024

National Engineered Stone Ban

On 13 December 2023, WHS ministers representing the Commonwealth, states and territories agreed to Safe Work Australia’s recommendation to prohibit the use of engineered stone to protect thousands of workers from respirable crystalline silica (silica dust).

The use, supply, and manufacture of all engineered stone with jurisdictions to commence the prohibition from 1 July 2024.

What is Silica Dust

Silica dust is generated in high levels when workers cut, shape, or polish engineered stone. Exposure to silica dust from engineered stone has led to a rapid increase in the number of workers developing the serious lung disease silicosis in Australia. 

The prohibition will ban a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) from carrying out work, or directing or allowing a worker to carry out work, on or with engineered stone. This includes manufacturing, supplying, processing and installing engineered stone.

Before a prohibition comes into effect

Until the prohibition of engineered stone comes into effect, workers and businesses can continue to work with engineered stone in a controlled way. 

Under the model WHS Regulations, if you are cutting, grinding, trimming, sanding, abrasive polishing or drilling engineered stone using power tools or other mechanical plant, you must use one of the following:

  • a water suppression (wet cutting) system

  • an on-tool dust extraction system, or 

  • local exhaust ventilation system.

All workers who process engineered stone must also be provided with and wear respiratory protective equipment.

More information