Engineered Stone Ban a World First

19th December 2023
Category Compensation

The decision to ban engineered stone in Australia because of the deadly risk to workers who deal with the product is a world-first. The RMB Compensation Law Division explains explains the importance of the decision.

Australia is set to become the first country to ban the use, supply and manufacture of engineered stone bench tops.

On December13, 2023, Commonwealth, State and Territory leaders agreed to a national ban on engineered stone with the ban coming into effect from July 1, 2024 in the majority of states and territories within Australia, including NSW.

Engineered stone is not a naturally occurring product. It is manufactured through a process of combining natural stone materials with water, resins and pigments. The end result is a low-cost alternative to genuine stone products, which is used throughout residential and commercial buildings worldwide for kitchen benchtops and vanities.

Unlike a nature stone benchtop, engineered stone however, contains deadly quantities of respirable crystalline silica (RCS). When the stone is cut, drilled, crushed or polished crystalline silica dust is generated. Exposure to and inhalation of any level of crystalline silica dust can be hazardous and lead to a diagnosis of silicosis as there is no known “safe level” of crystalline silica exposure.

Silicosis has been on the rise with stone masons and workers fabricating engineered stone being the most prevalent group to be diagnosed with the life-threatening condition.  

It is due to the increasing number of patients with silicosis and the willingness of employees to speak out and shine a light on their workplace experiences with engineered stone and exposure to silica dust that the prohibition on this deadly product has been agreed upon.

RMB Lawyers certainly endorses the decision to ban the product in NSW due to the devastating and deadly effect exposure to the product can have.

The compensation which RMB Lawyers can assist a victim of silicosis to claim includes a lump sum tax-free payment of damages for the pain, suffering, potential loss of life an employee with silicosis is likely to experience.  In addition, a claim can be made for the inability to continue to carry out domestic and personal care tasks and the inability to continue to care for dependents including a spouse or children.

If you, a friend or family member has been exposed to silica dust during the course of their employment and has been diagnosed as suffering from silicosis then legal advice should be sought immediately. Your first step should be to contact our office to arrange a free consultation. You can contact us by by phone or our 'Ask a Question' tool on our website.