Applying for exemption from engineered stone prohibition

Guidance about an exemption from complying with engineered stone prohibitions under the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations).

Shape

Working with engineered stone benchtops, panels and slabs is prohibited

From 1 July 2024, the manufacture, supply, processing and installation of engineered stone benchtops, panels and slabs is prohibited in Victoria.

These activities were banned to protect workers from the devastating lung disease silicosis.

Criteria for an exemption

The OHS Regulations allow WorkSafe to exempt a person or class of persons from complying with certain duties. This includes duties relating to the engineered stone prohibition.

But WorkSafe will not grant an exemption unless it is satisfied specific requirements are met. It must be satisfied that granting the exemption would result in a certain standard of health and safety. That standard of health and safety must be at least equivalent to the standard achieved from complying with the OHS Regulations. Merely having low levels of crystalline silica in an engineered stone product does not meet this standard.

The decision whether to grant an exemption is at WorkSafe's discretion.

Is your product engineered stone?

Duty holders seeking an exemption from the engineered stone prohibition must confirm the product they are using is in fact engineered stone.

If the product does not meet the definition of engineered stone, there is no need to apply for an exemption.

It is the duty holder's responsibility to determine whether a product meets the definition of engineered stone. WorkSafe is unable to approve product testing reports.

If you are unsure whether the prohibition will apply to your individual circumstances, you should consider obtaining independent legal advice.

Victoria is not part of the national exemption framework

An exemption granted by a work health and safety regulator in another jurisdiction will not apply in Victoria.

Duty holders seeking an exemption to work with engineered stone in Victoria will need to apply for an exemption under the OHS Regulations.

Application for exemption