April Updates

April brings several updates in the safety sector. This update covers regulatory changes, educational opportunities, and a summary of our recent event, providing essential information for professionals in workplace safety.

Engineered Stone Ban Announced by Safe Work Australia

On 22 March 2024, WHS ministers convened to discuss Safe Work Australia’s recommended draft amendments to the model WHS Regulations to implement the engineered stone ban. The ministers agreed that the ban would apply to engineered stone benchtops, panels, and slabs. Engineered stone is defined in the model WHS Regulations as an artificial product that:

  • Contains at least 1% crystalline silica by weight,
  • Is created by combining natural stone materials with other chemical constituents (such as water, resins, or pigments),
  • Becomes hardened through the manufacturing process.

This definition specifically excludes concrete and cement products, bricks, pavers, ceramic wall and floor tiles, sintered stone, porcelain products, roof tiles, grout, mortar, render, and plasterboard. Additionally, finished engineered stone products like jewellery, garden ornaments, sculptures, and kitchen sinks, which do not require further processing or modification, are also excluded from the ban.

Transitional arrangements have been agreed upon, where work involving the supply, installation, or processing of engineered stone benchtops, panels, and slabs between 1 July 2024 and 31 December 2024 will be exempt from the prohibition if the work is carried out under, or for the purposes of, a contract entered into on or before 31 December 2024.

For more information on next steps visit here.

Changes to the Vic WorkCover Scheme

The Victorian WorkCover scheme is undergoing changes to improve and modernise the system for stakeholders. These changes intend to streamline processes and enhance support for injured workers, alongside providing clearer guidance for employers. A webinar has been organised to discuss these changes and their implications for stakeholders.

Scheme Modernisation Webinar – Register Here

March Safety People Forum Summary

The March Safety People Forum facilitated discussions among safety professionals on various topics, including the role of professional development groups, the challenges of current safety training certifications, and the use of external providers for specialised training. The event focused on mentoring, microlearning, and strategies for addressing gaps in skills, experience, and behaviour in safety practices.

March Safety People Forum Summary

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