Your Compliance Guide to the NSW Engineered Stone Ban

A major regulatory change is coming to New South Wales on July 1, 2024, and it will have an effect on several industries, including building and remodelling, interior design, joinery, and the supply and installation of stone benchtops. The substantial health risks linked to exposure to silica dust have led to the prohibition of engineered stone’s use, distribution, and production.

Companies are understandably worried and curious about this new trend. Putting the well-being of your employees first is critical, especially in light of the difficulties that come with adapting to new rules. In order to make sure your company follows the new rules and regulations and thrives during this change, we are here to help you through the transition.

This detailed guide will cover all the bases when it comes to the engineered stone ban in New South Wales, including:

  • What This Means for Your Company. A brief explanation of the extent and consequences of the prohibition.
  • Working Towards Compliance. Actionable methods for stock management, finding risk-free substitutes, and encouraging productive dialogue.
  • Support and Resources. Numerous helpful government programmes, partnerships with relevant industries, and possible solutions like FocusIMS.

By the time you finish this guide, you will have all the information you need to confidently navigate the ban and make decisions that are good for your employees and your company in the long run. Let us all work together to make safety our top priority, welcome this time of transition, and build a more sustainable sector.

 What does the ban mean for your business?

New South Wales (NSW) has banned the use, supply, and production of engineered stone in new building and rehabilitation projects beginning July 1, 2024. Countertops, backsplashes, and vanities are all part of this category.

Every type of artificial stone—including common ones like Quartz surfaces, Silestone, Caesarstone, and Granite composites—and anything else that contains synthetic resin and silica dust is off-limits.

Except for certain installations that were in place prior to July 1, 2024, which will still require special care during any repairs or upgrades. Under certain conditions, SafeWork NSW will authorise the use of recycled engineered stone.

Officials from the Ministry of Labour and Employment announced the nationwide prohibition on December 13, 2023. In NSW and the other states that are going to be a part of it, it will formally go into force on July 1, 2024.

By February of 2024, SafeWork NSW should have provided more information regarding legacy product management and transitional procedures.

Companies should start looking for alternative materials and making adjustments to their processes well before the ban date.

Before July 1, 2024, businesses should look over their current obligations and contracts to see if any of them involve engineered stone. It is critical to investigate possibilities for contract modification or providing clients with alternative materials.

It is critical to maintain proactive contact with customers, vendors, and employees. We urge openness on adaptive strategies and potential substitutes.

One way to make sure you’re compliant and lessen your liability is to get some expert counsel, preferably from a lawyer or someone familiar with your field.

Even if the ban isn’t without its problems, it does provide a chance to adopt safer techniques and come up with new options. Businesses may help create a better work environment for everyone by being proactive and reaching out for support, which will ensure a smooth transition.

Taking Action: Steps for Compliance

There will be time for strategic planning instead of last-minute franticness when the manufactured stone prohibition in New South Wales comes effect on July 1, 2024. You can help your company stay compliant and have a smooth transition by doing a few things today. This is a list of things you can do:

Inventory and Assessment

Start by gathering all of your records, including all of the engineered stone projects, materials, and agreements that are already in place. Think about things like the current state of each project’s completion, any contractual duties, and the possible consequences of the ban when assessing the risks and responsibilities connected with each. Put things in order of importance and urgency by sorting your tasks into categories and completing or completing those with the shortest completion times or the upcoming due dates first.

Possible Substitutes and Alternatives

Get to know other materials that meet safety standards, like laminate, quartz, recycled glass, porcelain, or concrete, for your countertops. Consider these options’ visual appeal, longevity, affordability, ease of upkeep, and applicability before making your decision. Find trustworthy suppliers and manufacturers that provide approved alternatives by conducting extensive research. Make sure your clients and staff are well-informed on all of these possibilities by providing them with training and resources.

Communication and Transparency

Get the word out to your customers, vendors, and other interested parties about the impending ban and how it may affect your company’s operations. Write brief, to-the-point statements outlining the change, the options available, and your will to comply. In order to manage expectations for project changes or delays caused by the restriction, provide clear timetables. Make good use of a variety of communication channels to spread information, including frequently asked questions (FAQs), blog articles, social media updates, and email templates.

In addition to avoiding fines, being compliant is the right thing to do for the sake of your employees’ well-being and the integrity of your company. Starting early makes transitions easier, allows for better decisions, and builds trust among stakeholders. Make use of what you have and get more help if you need it.

Support and Resources: Navigating the Engineered Stone Ban Smoothly

There are helpful tools and support systems available to help your organisation transition away from engineered stone and embrace safer alternatives. It’s a huge step, but there’s no need to worry. To start, there are official government tools like SafeWork NSW that provide comprehensive information about the ban, how to comply, and answers to commonly asked questions. To make sure you’re following all the rules and regulations, you may find these resources on the official website. For more assistance in navigating these changes, the NSW Department of Customer Service provides information on business support programmes and subsidies that may be applicable throughout the transition.

Businesses undergoing changes, such as the engineered stone ban, rely heavily on the assistance of industry groups and associations. One such group is the Master Builders Association (MBA), which provides its members with news about the business, tools for training, and the opportunity to lobby for changes to rules. To keep up with the latest developments and make connections in your field, consider joining or using the tools offered on the MBA’s platform. Similarly, KBIC (Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Council) helps companies adjust to new rules by providing them with industry-specific data, networking events, and assistance. If you use these tools, you can get sector-specific advice and practical insights.

Businesses dealing with the engineered stone prohibition have access to a number of helpful tools, including industry and government backing. For instance, employees who acquire dust-related illnesses can find resources and help through the National Dust Disease Register. In a similar vein, the Silica Dust Awareness Coalition provides instructional materials and spreads the word about the risks of silica dust, both of which help make the workplace safer for everyone.

Businesses in need of expert advice and resources have choices like FocusIMS, which offers a range of safety management solutions specific to engineered stone ban compliance, such as risk assessments, training programmes, and dust control solutions. To solve unique problems and stay in accordance with rules, set up a no-cost consultation with professionals.

Finally, to make sure you get away from manufactured stone easily, it’s important to be aware and get some help. Companies can face the changes head-on and help make the future safer for everyone if they make use of the tools and support systems that are at their disposal.

FocusIMS: Your Partner for Navigating the Engineered Stone Ban

There is help available if you feel overwhelmed by the engineered stone ban’s complexity. In order to achieve compliance and provide safer work conditions, FocusIMS, your all-inclusive HSEQ (Health, Safety, Environment, and Quality) software platform, may be a reliable partner.

Implementing FocusIMS streamlines the evaluation and control of risks associated with engineered stone dust exposure. Our software improves safety measures by detecting and reducing possible risks at every level of a project.

With easily accessible training courses on safe handling of alternative materials and dust control techniques, you can ensure that your crew stays informed and proficient. Tracking employee proficiency and ensuring adherence to safety rules is a breeze with FocusIMS.

Using FocusIMS, you can streamline the processes of reporting incidents and investigating dust exposure. In order to avoid such problems in the future and stay in compliance, our software makes it easy to take immediate remedial action.

Use the document management and control features of FocusIMS to keep all compliance documentation organised and auditable. This includes MSDSs for permitted alternatives and supplier certifications.

Make the switch from engineered stone using FocusIMS project management software. With our platform, you can keep tabs on materials with precision, replace them with ease, and communicate openly with everyone involved.

With FocusIMS, you can do more than just comply:

Leverage data-driven insights and continuous improvement initiatives to foster a proactive safety culture inside your organisation with the help of FocusIMS.

With FocusIMS, you can optimise resource allocation, streamline procedures, and reduce workplace incidents—all while reducing overall expenses.

Using FocusIMS, you can automate processes, improve communication, and optimise workflows to increase productivity and efficiency.

To help you move away from engineered stone with ease and stay in compliance over the long haul, FocusIMS offers free consultations during which we can evaluate your unique requirements and explain how our HSEQ software can assist.

To receive more information, you can visit our website or give us a call. Let’s go through this transition together.

A sustainable future, healthy workers, and safe workplaces all begin with proper equipment. To help you do all three, choose FocusIMS.

Conclusion

While there may be some short-term difficulties in adjusting to the engineered stone ban, the long-term benefits include a more sustainable sector and a greater emphasis on worker safety. Just a friendly reminder that you’re not in this change by yourself. You can make sure that the road to compliance is smooth by making use of the resources at your disposal, looking into safer alternatives, and getting help from trustworthy partners.

Here at FocusIMS, we want to be there for you through thick and thin. To help you confidently navigate the prohibition, we have developed complete safety management solutions. We are committed to helping your business succeed in a safer, more responsible workplace through the implementation of training programmes, dust control solutions, and risk assessments.

Contacting us today for a no-cost consultation is the initial move towards a better tomorrow. Together, we can create a future where sustainability and safety are not mutually exclusive. Adherence to the engineered stone ban goes beyond just avoiding fines; it also promotes a safer work environment for your employees and demonstrates your commitment to responsible and ethical business practices. If we work together, we can make a difference in this field and make sure everyone has a better, healthier future.

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