Last week WorkSafe Victoria began accepting applications for the new Engineered Stone Licences. Businesses that cut, grind or abrasively polish engineered stone now have until 14 November 2022 to prepare and apply for the licence.
The new licensing scheme is another measure that has been put in place to protect people working with engineered stone from potentially deadly exposure to silica dust.
Applications for the Engineered Stone Licence will need to include:
A hazard control plan for working with engineered stone.
Details about the information, instruction and training provided to employees that covers the risks associated with working with engineered stone and the control measures in place in the workplace.
Information about the respiratory protection equipment used (Eg. P2 masks, air purifiers etc).
Operational information, including the number of employees who may be exposed.
Contact details of suppliers and manufacturers that you use, or plan to use, to source engineered stone.
From 14 November 2022 onwards engineered stone manufacturers and wholesalers will only be able to supply the stone to licence holders and will be required to keep records. Businesses that fail to comply with the licensing requirements will also face infringements or court-imposed fines of 6 to 500 penalty units (up to $90,870), while individuals can be fined 1.2 to 100 penalty units (up to $18,174). You can find more detailed information about the new licensing scheme and apply for a licence on the WorkSafe Victoria website. If you have any questions or need help preparing to apply, our team can help. We have extensive experience developing and implementing hazard control plans and employee training and instruction programs for businesses that work with engineered stone.
Regulations to be extended
From May next year, the ban on uncontrolled dry-cutting, grinding and polishing of engineered stone and other measures introduced in 2019 will be extended to apply businesses across a variety of industries that work with materials that contain silica, including construction, quarrying and tunnelling.
If you would like information or advice to assist your business in ensuring that it complies with the relevant Crystalline Silica regulations and broader occupational health and safety requirements, the team at Risk Strategies is here to help.