Victorian Govt acts on silicosis risks in dry cutting of engineered stone

Victorian Govt acts on silicosis risks in dry cutting of engineered stone

The Victorian Government has acted to better protect workers from exposure to silica dust, by introducing a ban on the uncontrolled dry cutting of engineered stone.

According to WorkSafe Victoria, “Occupational health and safety regulations now prohibit the cutting, grinding and abrasive polishing of engineered stone with power tools, unless on-tool water suppression or dust extraction devices are in place and respiratory protection equipment is used.”

Engineered or reconstituted stone can contain up to 95 per cent crystalline silica, which is a hazardous substance that can lead to serious health effects if aspirated and exposure is common in those who work with engineered stone, such as stonemasons.

Exposure can result in silicosis, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, kidney damage and scleroderma.

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