MAJOR retailers including Bunnings and IKEA are joining Queensland’s campaign on engineered stone, announcing plans to phase out sales of the dangerous product.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has welcomed the major retailers’ strong leadership in addressing an issue which Queensland first put on the national agenda in 2018.
“All workers have a right to turn up to a safe and healthy workplace which is why Queensland has long been calling for a ban on engineered stone,” she said.
“This is a dangerous product that’s known to cause the potentially fatal disease silicosis, and it has no place in our workplaces.
“Major retailers are starting to vote with their feet and it’s encouraging to see them joining Queensland’s campaign on engineered stone.
“We hope to see other suppliers following the example set by these major retailers because there is nothing more important than protecting workers on the job.”
Queensland’s actions on engineered stone to date have been to audit all known engineered stone benchtop fabricators, screening over 1,000 workers, implemented Australia’s first code of practice for the engineered stone industry in 2019, implemented Australia’s first code of practice for silica in the construction industry on 1 May this year, established Australia’s first Dust Lung Disease register and allocated $5 million for dust lung research.