Update on Australia's engineered stone ban

© Safe Work Australia

Work Health and Safety Ministers in Australia met on 22 March 2024 to discuss the draft amendments to the model WHS Regulations to give effect to the engineered stone ban. It was agreed that "the ban applies to engineered stone benchtops, panels and slabs and that engineered stone be defined in the model WHS Regulations as an artificial product that contains at least 1% crystalline silica as a weight/weight concentration; is created by combining natural stone materials with other chemical constituents (such as water, resins, or pigments); and becomes hardened. 

Exclusions to the regulations are:

  • Concrete and cement products 
  • Bricks, pavers, and other similar blocks
  • Ceramic wall and floor tiles
  • Sintered stone
  • Porcelain products 
  • Roof tiles
  • Grout, mortar, and render and plasterboard

Finished engineered stone products, such as garden ornaments and sinks which do not require processing or modification would be excluded from the ban. 

During the transitional period, WHS ministers agreed that "work involving the supply, installation or processing of engineered stone benchtops, panels and slabs between 1 July 2024 and 31 December 2024 are to be exempt from the prohibition if the work is carried out under, or for the purposes of, a contract entered into on or before 31 December 2023."

To find out more, visit Safe Work Australia