Prohibition On The Use Of Engineered Stone

All states and territories are banning the use, supply and manufacture of engineered stone under work health and safety laws. Engineered Stone has been banned in Australia as of the 13th of December 2023. WHS ministers unanimously agreed to ban all engineered stone. This includes benchtops, panels and slabs. The majority of jurisdictions to commence the ban from 1st of July 2024.

This decision was based on a recommendation made by Safe Work Australia. The recommendation was made in response to the rise of silicosis diagnoses in engineered stone workers.

There is clear evidence that exposure to silica dust, generated when working with engineered stone can increase the risk of silicosis in workers. The issue is related specifically to, respirable crystalline silica. Banning the use of engineered stone will protect Australian workers from this deadly disease.


What Does This Mean for the Consumer?


Engineered stone is widely used in benchtops. It is safe once installed, so long as it remains undisturbed. There is no need to remove it from your home or workplace, as it poses no health risks as long as the engineered stone remains unaltered.

It’s important not to undertake any DIY work if you already have engineered stone benchtops, because cutting, grinding, trimming, drilling, sanding or polishing is what causes the problem. Disturbing the engineered stone, could generate silica dust that can be harmful when inhaled.


Do Not Buy Engineered Stone Benchtops, Splashbacks Or Slabs


Something to look out for between now and the 1st of July is that businesses will be looking to clear out their engineered stone stock. It will be cheap and easily accessible, but please do anything you can to avoid using it. It will be tempting, but to avoid being in trouble later on, please avoid it.

If you have someone trying to sell you engineered stone, please report them, they are compromising the health of their staff, and of their customers.

Try to avoid replacing your benchtop at any cost. If you are desperately in need of a new benchtop, call the team at United Stone Melbourne. We will safely remove the engineered stone benchtop, and replace it with a nice porcelain benchtop. Our porcelain benchtops are indestructible and silica free, leaving you with peace of mind, knowing that you and your family are safe.

We stopped working with engineered stone 6 years ago, because the first case of silicosis disease was reported in 2015. As of the start of 2024 there have been over 700 cases of silicosis disease.

Engineered Stone Frequently Asked Questions

What if I want to polish my existing engineered stone benchtop?

Please whatever you do, do not cut, polish or grind it. There are no safe levels of crystalline silica dust that can be inhaled, you could inhale it now and still develop silicosis in 50 years, there isn’t enough information on it to be sure of the repercussions. There is nothing to say that one time exposure won’t lead to silicosis disease in the years to come.

How do you dispose of engineered stone?

Currently, tips do not want to take engineered stone, as it is a risk to them, their workers, and anyone in the area. There are currently no guidelines for the safe disposal of engineered stone.

Contact Your Local Benchtop Specialists Today


Are you looking to make renovations to your kitchen? Are you worried about making any renovations due to engineered stone? Contact a qualified tradesperson, or give us a call today on 03 9791 3720, we will be happy to help you.

If you’re still unsure about the parameters of this ban, visit the Australian Government Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. 

In order to learn more about silica dust and the silicosis disease it causes, visit the Safe Work website using our link.

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