NSW State Govt to Ban Drycutting Stone

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Media Release from the MBA

Please be advised that the Master Builders NSW understands that the NSW State Government will ban the dry-cutting of artificial stone.

NSW Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said a ban on all dry-cutting that exposed workers to silica dust would start on 1 July 2020. Silicosis will also become a notifiable disease with all cases to be listed on a single register.

Minister Anderson has been reported as saying

“to protect workers in NSW, we are banning the dry-cutting of manufactured stone. SafeWork NSW inspectors will be able to issue tough new on the spot fines for non-compliance”.

Minister Anderson

The NSW State Government has committed to a new silica workplace exposure standard of 0.05mg per cubic metre. This will also become effective from 1 July 2020.

Academics such as Associate Professor Deborah Yates has been reported as saying that “silicosis was entirely preventable and could be controlled by putting water on the stone when it is being cut, and by using exhaust ventilation and protective equipment including masks”. The Associate Professor also advised that silica dust can be inhaled and absorbed into the body and cause an autoimmune response affecting connective tissue.

Should MBA Members have any further questions about cutting stone in the workplace, please do not hesitate to contact the Association’s Safety Department on 02 8586 3555.

The Sydney Morning Herald also reports on this. Click here to view their article.