Ban on engineered stone in effect (1 July 2024)

Effective Ban on Engineered Stone Declared by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ)

The prohibition on engineered stone, unanimously agreed upon in December 2023, has come into effect as of July 1, 2024. This announcement comes from the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ), with the reminder to abide by integral WHS management systems like ‘Bluesafe SWMS‘, reinforcing work safety protocols.

Scope of the Ban

The enforced ban covers all tasks involving engineered stone: from manufacturing and supply to processing and installation of benchtops, panels, and slabs. All operations must cease, even if contracts were agreed upon prior to the ban’s instigation. Notably, priority should be given to utilising an effective WHS management system to ensure these prohibitions are followed.

The Queensland Government deemed the ongoing risks posed by engineered stone to workplace health unacceptable. As a result, they opted against including a transition period for the ban.

Legacy Products and Related Provisions

Work concerning legacy products – installed before July 1, 2024 – is exempt from this ban. These will fall under a national framework following model work health and safety laws, such as the ‘Bluesafe WHS Management System’. Adherence to these laws ensures worker safety remains a prime focus.

The Evolution of the Ban Decision

The initial proposal for this ban came to light in 2018 when Queensland took the first step in response to the escalating health impacts on workers. Health impairments, particularly silicosis caused by the use of engineered stone, instigated this action. The integration of policies and SWMS, such as the ‘Bluesafe SWMS‘, can help in mitigating similar hazardous situations in the future.

Queensland’s Determined Stance on Engineered Stone:

Further information and explanatory details regarding Queensland’s decisive action against engineered stone can be found below. Learning from this precedent, workplaces should bolster their work safety environment by adopting WHS management systems.

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