Slater and Gordon has welcomed key recommendations outlined in The National Dust Diseases Taskforce’s final report into the engineered stone industry, highlighting the need for manufacturers of engineered stone products to take greater responsibility.
Slater and Gordon Practice Group Leader Joanne Wade said the report was a step in the right direction.
“These recommendations will hopefully protect workers and people in the industry who have to date been let down by their employers and the manufacturers of these engineered stone products,” Ms Wade said.
“Systemic change is required to improve protection. The report highlights reform is urgently required. It states that existing Work Health and Safety laws have failed to protect workers from developing silicosis. The manufacturers of engineered stone products also owe a duty to people working with their products to ensure that they are safe and that the risks they present are accompanied by appropriate warnings.”
Ms Wade said she supported the key recommendation that if by July 2024 there was no measurable and acceptable improvement in regulatory compliance rates, a full ban should be implemented on the importation of some or all engineered stone products.
“We support the recommendation to better support affected workers through tailored programs of psychological, financial and return-to-work support, as well as training our medical teams and professionals to provide better care to those suffering from silica related diseases,” Ms Wade said.