Engineered Stone

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A ban on the manufacturing, supply, processing and installation of engineered stone benchtops, panels and slabs will commence throughout Australia from 1 July 2024. Traders must not enter into or continue contracts involving their supply after 30 June 2024.

What is engineered stone?

Engineered stone (found in benchtops, panels, and slabs) is a composite material, made of crushed stone bound together by an adhesive to create a solid surface. For the purposes of the ban, engineered stone is an artificial product that:

  • contains at least 1% crystalline silica as a weight/weight concentration;
  • is created by combining natural stone materials with other chemical constituents (such as water, resins, or pigments); and
  • becomes hardened.

The ban does not include the following:

  • concrete and cement products
  • bricks, pavers, and other similar blocks
  • ceramic wall and floor tiles
  • sintered stone
  • porcelain products
  • roof tiles
  • grout, mortar, and render, and
  • plasterboard.

Engineered stone is mechanically processed to manufacture products, commonly benchtops.

What is the purpose of the ban?

The purpose of the ban is to protect workers from the risk of silicosis, which is a serious, irreversible lung disease that causes permanent disability and can be fatal. Processing engineered stone, slabs or panels by cutting, grinding, shaping, drilling, sanding and polishing produces a very fine dust known as respirable crystalline silica (RCS) which, when breathed in, can cause silicosis. More information is available Safe Work Australia.

Are all products of engineered stone being banned?

The prohibition relates to engineered stone benchtops, panels, and slabs.

What Australian states are affected by this ban?

All Australian jurisdictions are in the process of banning engineered stone products.  

Safe Work Australia and State work health and safety regulators, including WorkSafe WA, have published guidelines. More information is available at Worksafe WA.

Is the engineered stone that is already in my home or workplace safe?

If undisturbed, engineered stone products do not pose a health risk as the finished product does not release dust. Health risks can arise when dust is generated during removal, repair, minor modification or disposal of the engineered stone.

It is important not to undertake any DIY work with engineered stone. You should contact a qualified tradesperson, who will use appropriate dust controls when conducting repairs or minor works.

Will there be a transition period, and what are the transitional arrangements?

The WA Government has granted a transition period to allow existing contracts entered into on or before 31 December 2023 to be honoured. The transition period will end on 31 December 2024. This means that the work contracted for must be completed by this date.

The transition period is a ‘grace period’ for traders to wind up and complete existing pre-2024 contracts only. This is not an extension of time in which traders are permitted to enter new contracts and attempt to complete them.   

What if I entered into a contract before 31 December 2023 and the work is unlikely to be completed before 31 December 2024, after the transitional arrangements expire?

If a contract was entered into on or prior to 31 December 2023, but is not completed before 31 December 2024, it will not be possible for the contract to continue with the use of engineered stone.

An alternative product will need to be sought in order to continue with the works. The ban is absolute.  No further allowance can be made after the transition period.  Traders should use the transition period to consider reasonable alternatives and to prioritise the completion of contracts involving engineered stone, and thought should be given to alternatives before the deadline falls.

What are my options if I entered into a contract after 1 January 2024, if the ban was known by the trader and the trader provided an assurance that the work would be completed by the 1 July 2024, and the work is not completed by the ban date?

Contracts entered into on or after 1 January 2024 will need to be completed by 1 July 2024.

Contracts that are entered into on or after 1 January 2024, and which are not completed when the ban takes effect, will not be able to be completed with the use of engineered stone.

If it becomes evident to a trader and consumer that a contract is unlikely to be completed before the ban comes into effect, parties should attempt to renegotiate the contract and switch to an alternative product.

Am I obliged to accept an alternative product? 

The trader may choose to offer an alternative product, and you may choose to accept it (however there are no obligations for either party to offer or accept).

It is possible for parties to start renegotiations after the prohibition takes effect, or the parties may decide to abandon the contract.

Who is responsible for additional costs, or if the new product is lower cost, should this be refunded to me?

The issue of who bears any difference in costs would be decided by the parties of the contract in negotiations.

How would this ban affect my right to a remedy where the engineered stone that has been supplied and installed fails after the ban has taken place? 

Consumer complaints and queries will arise following the implementation of the engineered stone ban.   The usual rights under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) would apply, except that traders would not be able to provide you with an exact replacement of an existing engineered stone bench.

Under the ACL, when a product does not meet a guarantee (e.g., that it will last for a reasonable period of time), remedies are available to the consumer.

The types of remedies that are available depend on whether the failure is classified as a ‘major failure’ or ‘minor failure’.

Due to the engineered stone ban, it would not be lawful for the goods to be replaced with goods of an identical type.  However, it would still be open for the trader to provide a refund to the consumer.

What is a minor failure?

A minor failure can be fixed within a reasonable time. The consumer must give the trader the chance to fix the problem, and the trader chooses whether to refund, repair, or replace the product.

It would be possible for engineered stone products, subject to the ban, to be repaired (subject to adherence with a WHS framework), in the case of minor failures.

What is major failure?

If there is a major failure with a product, the consumer can elect to reject the product and choose a refund or replacement or keep the product but be compensated by the seller for any drop in value.

Due to the ban on engineered stone products, the consumer would not be able to seek an exact replacement, despite the usual operation of the ACL. To do so would likely put the trader in breach of the ban.

The consumer will be able to seek a refund for the product and have it removed, or alternatively, keep it and be compensated by the trader for any drop in value.

Are there issues for my home with the removal/ repairing/ modification or disposal of engineered stone after the ban has come into place?

When removing, repairing, making minor modifications to, or disposing of existing engineered stone benchtops, the trader or supplier (person conducting a business or undertaking) must provide written notice to the WorkSafe WA regulator.

This means that if an engineered stone bench has a major failure after the ban takes effect, the consumer will still be able to have it removed.

Would a business entering into a contract to supply engineered stone after 1 July 2024 be in breach of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL)?

Engineered stone will be banned through the Work Health and Safety Act 2020.

A trader who supplied or entered into an agreement to supply a consumer with engineered stone after 1 July 2024 would not be in breach of the Australian Consumer Law, however, it would be in breach of WA’s Work Health and Safety (General) Regulations 2022 (WHS Regulations).

What applicable law should I be aware of?

The applicable law is the Work Health and Safety Act 2020 and WHS Regulations.

The prohibition of engineered stone products was recommended by Safe Work Australia and decided by national Work Health and Safety Ministers. The Australian model Work Health and Safety Regulations will be amended to support the ban. In turn, each State or Territory’s WHS Regulations will be amended.

How do I get advice on my contract with a trader regarding the installation of engineered stone?

Consumers affected by the engineered stone ban who are not able to reach a negotiated agreement with their trader, should seek relevant legal advice. The Law Society of WA has contact details for their affiliated lawyers in Western Australia.

Where do I go for more information?


Safe Work Australia is currently in the process of developing a national framework to ensure anyone working with legacy engineered stone can do so safely. Traders will need to adhere these to this framework when it has been developed and implemented. 

What do I do if I have a complaint?

Contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54

Email Consumer Protection on

Lodge a complaint

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