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Ban on uncontrolled processing of engineered stone products in South Australia

The uncontrolled processing of engineered stone products has been outlawed in South Australia under new regulations taking effect on 1 September 2023.

The new regulations, designed to help prevent the spread of dust diseases, bring South Australia in line with recent changes by Safe Work Australia to model work health and safety laws.

The regulations make it an offence for a person conducting a business or undertaking to direct or allow a worker to process engineered stone without specific control measures in place to minimise the risk of silica dust inhalation.

All workers involved in cutting, grinding, trimming, sanding or drilling engineered stone products must be provided with respiratory protective equipment, and use a dust control system such as a water suppressant or exhaust ventilation.

Penalties of up to $6,000 for an individual or $30,000 for a body corporate apply. This is in addition to existing criminal offences under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 (SA), which provide for up to 5 years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $3 million for reckless conduct that exposes a person to the risk of death or serious injury or illness.

Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector Kyam Maher said, “These new regulations are an immediate step to protect the health and safety of workers, ahead of the national meeting of WHS Ministers later this year, which will consider further regulatory action on engineered stone.”

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