Given the rates of silicosis continuing to be diagnosed in stonemasons who with engineered in Australia should these products continue to be sold?
No government in Australia is considering a product ban as they all recognise the risk is in unsafe cutting of engineered stone at stonemason worksites in defiance of the safety regulations in each state or territory.
Quartz surfaces are in use today in millions of homes around the world, and in many environments that require the strictest standards of cleanliness and sterility, including the Starbucks Coffee chain in the US and the McDonald's chain in Australia.
Members of AESAG manufacture to the strictest safety standards and our products comply with Government regulations in all states and territories.
It is important to be aware that silica is a component of many manufactured products in daily use, such as glass, pottery and quartz surfaces. Silica is very commonly used in construction and at various concentrations in bricks, blocks, tiles, slabs, cement and concrete.
How do you ensure your engineered stone products can be used safely by workers cutting and installing them?
Members of the Australian Engineered Stone Advisory Group manufacture to the strictest safety standards and our products comply with Government regulations in all states and territories.
All stonemasons who purchase quartz surfaces from members of the advisory group receive comprehensive safety guidelines and safety warnings with shipped products.
In addition, we work closely with regulatory authorities to ensure our products comply with the strictest international and local safety standards. An installed quartz surface is as safe as any alternative product.
The risk of silicosis can be avoided by following the safety procedures and guidelines we provide to all fabricators.
A Fabrication Good Practice Guide is available on our web site.
What responsibility if any lies with the companies your organisation represents?
Each member company of AESAG provides fabrication health and safety information and product safety labels with all product sold.
We are in regular contact with customers and available to discuss any health or safety concerns they may have. Individual manufacturers have conducted safety workshops for clients.
Manufacturers do not fabricate or install the products and as such have no direct responsibility for the work practices of independent stonemasons and other fabricators.
We work closely with governments, regulators and industry bodies to ensure our products comply with the strictest local and international safety standards.