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Employer

Edstein Creative Pty Ltd

Fine

$375,000

Incident

Long-term exposure to harmful silica dust

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Introduction

Edstein Creative, a northern NSW stone supplier, has been fined $375,000 for failing to protect its workers from deadly silica dust, marking a significant health and safety breach in the state.

Details of the Violation

The company was charged with exposing employees to respirable crystalline silica dust over nearly seven years. This exposure occurred during the installation of engineered stone products, a material associated with severe health risks, including the fatal lung disease silicosis.

Legal and Regulatory Action

Edstein Creative pleaded guilty to the charge under the NSW Work Health and Safety Act. This case is the first of its kind concerning silica exposure to reach the NSW District Court, highlighting the severity of the breach and the company’s failure to implement necessary safety measures.

Health Impacts and Industry Reforms

The incident has spotlighted the broader issue within the industry, where workers inhale fine particles of silica dust, leading to debilitating diseases. In response, Australia is set to implement a nationwide ban on engineered stone by July 1 to combat the health risks associated with silica.

Government and Regulatory Response

SafeWork NSW has reiterated its zero-tolerance policy for endangering workers’ lives, promising continued vigilance and enforcement to prevent such exposures. The hefty fine against Edstein Creative serves as a warning to other operators in the industry.

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