Ban On Engineered Stone And Dust Management Regulations – What You Need To Know

Legislation Work Health and Safety


From 1 July, work with engineered stone in the manufacturing, supply, processing, and installation of benchtops, panels, and slabs must cease even if contracts were entered into prior to the ban date. Only work with legacy installations will be permitted, subject to informing WHSQ.

Why ban engineered stone?

Queensland first put a ban on the national agenda in 2018 in response to escalating health impacts on workers, and in December 2023, WHS ministers announced the ban providing the industry more than six months to prepare.

Queensland did not have a transitional period for the ban and required all activities involving engineered stone to cease from 1 July 2024, even if contracts were entered into before the ban date.

The decisive action addressed the significant risks posed by engineered stone, particularly concerning silicosis.

About the ban

Amendments to the model Work Health and Safety laws (WHS) give effect to the ban on engineered stone, including benchtops, panels, and slabs.

Safe Work Australia has also published new guidance to assist persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs), to understand their work health and safety obligations relating to the engineered stone ban.

Legacy work and disposal

Work with legacy engineered stone is permitted under a national framework, subject to notification to WHS regulators. Businesses that plan to undertake permitted work with legacy engineered stone are required to notify WHSQ - failure to provide the required information will constitute an offence.

Disposal of engineered stone benchtops, panels, and slabs held in stock, as well as legacy engineered stone, must be in line with existing jurisdictional waste management requirements. Disposal of engineered stone currently falls under the non-regulated (general waste) category.

What is banned engineered stone?

The ban will cover the use of all engineered stone products that:

  • Contain one per cent or more crystalline silica substances (CSS),
  • Are created by combining natural stone materials with other chemical constituents (such as water, resins, or pigments), and
  • Undergo a process to become hardened.

Many other man-made products that contain crystalline silica can still be used. These include concrete and cement products like bricks, pavers, and other similar blocks; ceramic and porcelain products; wall, floor, and roof tiles; grout, mortar, and render, and plasterboard.

Porcelain, natural stone, and sintered stone products that don’t contain resin can be used.

Other finished engineered stone products are also exempt, including jewellery, garden ornaments, sculptures, and kitchen sinks - these require minimal processing.

What’s happening now?

With the ban in effect on 1 July, it will be illegal to use engineered stone slabs, benchtops and panels for any new projects – only work with legacy installations will be permitted and subject to informing WHSQ.

Effective dust controls must be in place for all businesses working with stone products.

New regulations for CSS

In September, new national regulations will be introduced that apply to all crystalline silica substances (CSS) activities. Queensland legislation will be updated in accordance.

Amendments to the national WHS Regulations will mean that CSS, defined as any material containing at least one per cent crystalline silica, will fall under enhanced regulation – this will protect workers from the risks of exposure.

The regulations will:

  • introduce a new duty to ensure that any processing of CSS is controlled
  • require businesses to undertake a risk assessment of any processing of CSS to
    determine if it is high risk
  • introduce specific requirements in relation to any processing of CSS that is high risk.

More information


Article from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland

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