From 1 July 2024, the use, manufacturing, supply, processing and installation of engineered stone will be banned in Victoria.
Some exceptions will be made for the removal, repair, minor modification, and disposal of engineered stone products installed prior to the prohibition (legacy products), as well as appropriate exceptions for engineered stone products with trace levels of crystalline silica (under 1%).
In addition, the Commonwealth is considering a customs ban which would provide an additional layer of enforcement and deterrence at the border.
Until 1 July 2024, Victoria’s current Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws in relation to exposure to silica dust or working with engineered stone, and the associated employer obligations, remain in place.
Prior to 1 July 2024, employers or self-employed persons planning on undertaking any engineered stone process must still hold an engineered stone licence. You must not undertake any engineered stone process if you do not hold a current licence.
Engineered stone can have very high quantities of crystalline silica, which is released when the stone is cut, ground, drilled or abrasively polished. Without appropriate control measures in place, exposure to dust containing crystalline silica can lead to diseases like silicosis.
A licence is granted to a business (either an employer or self-employed person) to work with engineered stone if they meet the necessary safety requirements.