Engineered Stone Banned Down Under

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If you don’t work in one of the building trades then you might not know about engineered stone, but you have definitely seen it and probably touched it. It’s a type of stone made of crushed silica that is pressed together to make a new, and equally durable, stone (it’s like plywood made of stone). Many new builds use this type of modern manufactured stone for countertops and decorative surfaces. Australia has found that people working on this type of stone tend to develop health issues that can be life-ending, so the country has decided to ban the stone to protect those in the industry. This is a good thing to see and hopefully other countries will copy Australia’s new policy.

Trade unions, health organisations and personal injury law firms have all welcomed the ban, saying it will save lives.

“Engineered stone is a fashion product that is killing the workers who make it,” Australian Council of Trade Unions assistant secretary Liam O’Brien said.

“With alternatives readily available, why are we risking the lives of tradies for a fashionable finish in our kitchens?”

Dr Hoy said broader change was needed to make sure a similar crisis did not happen again.

“We can’t be waiting until people develop disease and they die from conditions related to work before we start acting,” he said.

“We really need to change the ways to identify problems at work, and act before people become sick.”

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