Engineering, Events

Australia becomes the first country to ban engineered stone

Australia has officially banned the use of engineered stone due to the efforts of the Stop The Killer Stone campaign from the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

This prohibition aims to protect workers from silicosis, a deadly and incurable disease caused by exposure to crystalline silica dust. 

CFMEU’s National Secretary, Zach Smith, said the ban was a significant victory for worker safety. 

“Our union has stopped the asbestos of the 2020s in its tracks. This is a once-in-a-generation moment for workplace health and safety, saving lives and protecting workers’ families and friends from enduring more senseless deaths,” said Smith. 

The union’s commitment to the cause began with a pledge to ban its members from working with engineered stone starting July 1. 

However, persistent advocacy and a widespread public education campaign ultimately persuaded politicians and businesses to support the nationwide prohibition.

Smith said the campaign’s success particularly highlighted the efforts of Kyle Goodwin, a former stonemason diagnosed with silicosis.

“No individual deserves more credit than Kyle Goodwin, who has dedicated himself to ensuring no other workers receive a death sentence like he has,” said Smith. 

The ban reflects CFMEU’s core values of protecting workers and promoting workplace safety. 

Smith said that the CFMEU members stood up to unethical businesses that were profiting from the deaths of workers and ultimately won.

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