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SA tightens rules on engineered stone processing   

The SA government has announced new regulations banning the uncontrolled processing of engineered stone products from the start of September.  

The rules will make it an offence for any individual or business to direct or allow a worker to cut, grind, trim, sand, or drill engineered stone products without appropriate respiratory protection equipment.  

Penalties for infringements of the regulations carry a $6000 fine for individuals and $30,000 for body corporates in addition to further charges under work health and safety (WHS) laws. 

The regulations are in line with changes from SafeWork Australia to address increasing dust-related diseases, such as silicosis.   

Earlier this year, major union groups called for a ban on engineered stone products as insurers strengthened reserves for silicosis claims.   

“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,” SA Attorney General Kyam Maher said.  

Mr Maher did not rule out SA exploring the possibility of a total ban but says any decision will be made following the national meeting.  

“I look forward to the national meeting of WHS Ministers later this year which will consider expert advice on options for regulating engineered stone,” Mr Maher said.  

“However, I want to be clear – the option is on the table for us to go it alone and pursue an engineered stone ban on a state level if there is no decisive national action.”