New code for Qld stone manufacturers

Qld Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace says the code will reduce exposure to silica dust.
Qld Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace says the code will reduce exposure to silica dust.

Stone benchtop manufacturers will be asked to abide by new regulations to stop workers becoming sick with a potentially deadly lung disease from exposure to silica dust.

Dust control methods, protective equipment for workers, air monitoring and safe installation will be at the centre of a new code of practice, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace says.

"This code goes a long way to ensuring long term behavioural change in an industry that, until recently, has not put worker safety first," she said.

The code will be enforced from October 31 and apply to the fabrication of natural and man-made stone material or processing. The code will also cover installation, maintenance and removal.

The death of Gold Coast stonecutter Anthony White from silicosis in March was believed to be the first in Australia.

More than 90 Queenslanders who work with engineered stone have been diagnosed with the disease after exposure to silica dust.

Some of them are terminal.

Last year, the state government banned dry cutting and issued a public warning about working with engineered stone.

Australian Associated Press