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HIA optimistic as silica ban gets fleshed out

Commonwealth, state and territory WHS Ministers agreed to a number of implementation matters for the prohibition of engineered stone.

Commonwealth, state and territory WHS Ministers agreed to a number of key implementation matters for the prohibition of the use of engineered stone. The ban will come into effect on July 1 2024.

The prohibition on the use of engineered stone bench-tops, panels and slabs aims to endorse a stronger regulatory framework to manage the risk of exposure to respirable crystalline silica from other materials and products.

SEE ALSO: Silica Safety Reminder

“The Housing Industry Association (HIA) appreciates that state and territory Work, Health and Safety (WHS) Ministers have determined the next steps to move forward with the implementation of a ban on engineered stone,” managing director Jocelyn Martin said.

“The issue of working with engineered stone is one HIA takes extremely seriously and is supportive of the need to minimise the potential exposure of workers to harmful levels of respirable crystalline silica (RCS), particularly when working with engineered stone.

“In December 2023, WHS Ministers agreed to ban the use, supply and manufacture of engineered stone from July 1 2024, however, how this would be implemented was unclear.

“HIA is encouraged that the ministers have come to an agreement and clearly defined what products can be specified, supplied, and used into homes in the short and medium term.

Martin added that the HIA urged state and territory stakeholders to determine a reasonable timeframe for implementing the nationwide ban.

“These timeframes need to ensure industry has adequate time to adapt and to make necessary adjustments to plans and manufacturing processes,” she said.

“It is critical now that state Governments provide a detailed industry transition and communications plan that addresses these matters as soon as possible.”

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