Australia has banned the use of engineered stone, effective from 1 July 2024 in most states and territories. 

The decision was made in response to concerns about the health impacts of engineered stone on workers, primarily its association with silicosis, a potentially fatal lung disease caused by inhaling silica dust. 

Engineered stone has been used widely within the construction, building, and renovation industries, as it offers durability, aesthetic appeal, and versatility, making it a popular choice for countertops and vanities. 

However, the process of cutting, grinding, or polishing engineered stone releases dangerous silica particles into the air, posing significant health risks to workers. The particles can severely affect respiratory function and, in severe cases, lead to death.

A ban is being imposed to protect worker safety, which has created challenges and potential economic ramifications for businesses reliant on engineered stone.

At a recent meeting of state and federal safety ministers, a six-month transition period following the ban's implementation was agreed.

The measure is meant to allow for the honouring of pre-existing contracts to minimise immediate disruptions within the industry. 

Ministers also agreed on enhanced regulations for managing high-risk silica work in other sectors will commence in September 2024.

Details of the new measures are accessible here.