Business Web Sites
Daily BulletinHoliday Centre

Business News

  • Written by Shine Lawyers


Calls for national ban on dry cutting techniques and tougher penalties amid new cases of tradies sick from toxic dustLeading plaintiff law firm Shine Lawyers is calling for a national ban on dry cutting practises in stonemasonry workshops. It comes after seeing an increase in the number of tradies falling ill from breathing in dust created when cutting artificial stone products.

Shine Lawyers is now speaking with half a dozen tradesmen from around the country, who have all contracted the deadly lung disease, silicosis, while working in businesses cutting artificial stone products used for kitchen and bathroom benchtops.

“The current method of dry cutting artificial stone creates plumes of dust which if inhaled over long periods can potentially lead to silicosis. We know wet cutting, using water to damp down the dust, is much safer but there is no regulation of the industry to enforce this practise,” explains Shine Lawyers Dust Diseases expert Roger Singh.

“We are now speaking with stonemasons who tell us that despite the awareness that’s been raised the dry cutting continues in their workplaces and wet cutting systems, and enforcement of proper face masks, that could prevent disease are not being installed. We cannot let this continue. Australians deserve safe workplaces,” said Mr Singh. 

“We have to learn from the awful legacy of asbestos and take action now to prevent more of our young stonemasons succumbing to what is a horrific disease and in some instances a terrible death,” said Mr Singh.

Shine Lawyers is calling on all State and Territory governments to make regulation and enforcement of artificial stone work practises a priority to improve health outcomes for stonemasons.

“I have written to all State and Territory Ministers in a bid to have dry cutting banned and an investigation and enforcement program introduced to ensure these dangerous practises are being stamped out,” said Mr Singh.

Shine Lawyers would like to see the introduction of tougher penalties and fines for workshops that don’t comply.

Stonemasons currently working in the industry are being urged to see a doctor for a health check and lung scan.

CLIENT STORY:

Anthony White is a 36 year old stonemason from the Gold Coast. He has handled and cut artificial  stone products for the last decade. He was diagnosed with silicosis in November 2017. 
 
“I want to make sure no one else has to go through this. It’s been absolutely horrendous for me and my family who have had to watch me get sicker and sicker. I had a chest infection that wouldn’t go away and mum noticed I was losing a lot of weight.  When I went to the doctor they sent me for all kinds of test and chest xrays and diagnosed me with silicosis,” said Mr White.
 
“Wearing protective gear wasn’t policed at any of my workplaces. There was so much dust flying around, you could feel the grit on your teeth and taste the dust in your mouth, but I didn’t think it was a problem. I had no idea it could make you this sick,” said Mr White.
 
“I would personally like to see rules enforced so nobody cuts it dry in any workplace anywhere in Australia. It’s dangerous and it’s putting lives at risk,” warns Mr White.
 
BACKGROUND ENGINEERED STONE/SILICOSIS:
  • Artificial or engineered stone contains a much higher percentage (95%) of silica than natural stone
  • The dust that is created when artificial  stone is being shaped or cut, when inhaled over long periods or at extreme levels, can cause debilitating lung diseases including silicosis
  • Artificial  stone is safe when it is installed as a finished product, it is only the dust from cutting that is dangerous
  • Silicosis is a progressive, irreversible lung disease cause by inhaling the dust which becomes trapped in the lungs, causing fibrotic nodules and scarring and impacting the ability to breathe
  • Silicosis can take 10 – 15 years to develop, it often starts with a cough that won’t go away
  • In 2017 a Queensland Parliamentary inquiry into Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (Black Lung) heard silica was “more dangerous than coalmine dust”
  • Brisbane Tunnel workers were exposed to silica during the construction of the road network in 2017
LINKS TO INFORMATION

Cancer Council information and statistics on Silicosis https://www.cancer.org.au/content/Preventing%20cancer/workplace/2017/2017-10-09-Silica-Factsheet-Final.pdf

Australian Lung Foundation
http://lungfoundation.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Silica-fact-sheet.pdf

ABOUT SHINE LAWYERS:
  • Shine Lawyers has been operating for more than 40 years as a leading law company and specialises in damages-based plaintiff litigation.
  • It has 39 branches spanning across Australia and New Zealand.
  • The leading national company has delivered justice to more than 40,000 people to date.
  • Shine Corporate Ltd has been listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) since May 2013.

Acciona And Surfing Australia Partnership

Acciona Ambassador and 2020 World Surf League (WSL) Women’s World Tour rookie Isabella Nichols with Bede Noonan, Managing Director of Acciona Geotech at today's launch. CASUARINA/NSW (N...

Blainey Woodham - avatar Blainey Woodham

What is identity verification and why your business should start using it

As time goes by, new technologies and practices always find a way into the world of business. The ones that prove valuable are first adopted by the forward-thinking businesses until they finally b...

Diana Smith - avatar Diana Smith

How to protect your business with the help of National Police Check

Hiring for organizations is not an easy task. Every recruiter wants to employ reliable, honest, skilled people who are a good fit for their office culture. In short, hiring someone who will help the...

KONCHECK - avatar KONCHECK

Five Ways To Do Business On The Go From Your Smartphone

These days, you can do almost anything you want on a smartphone, and more and more people are choosing to work on the go from their mobiles. You can do so much more with your phone than just make ca...

News Company - avatar News Company

Call Centres Philippines

Companies like Amazon are obsessed with creating the perfect customer experience. This makes sense, of course, because the entire business of Amazon is built upon customer service. By making shopp...

News Company - avatar News Company

5 Benefits of Outdoor Advertising

Nowadays, most of us spend more time away from home than we do cooped up in our comfortable nest. The daily hustle and bustle, our jobs and other obligations have us hit the streets early in the mor...

Tanya Mayer - avatar Tanya Mayer


The Conversation

Politics

Prime Minister - Step up in drought budget support

Drought-hit farmers, small businesses and rural towns are set for an immediate cash injection to keep stock fed and watered, keep businesses open, keep locals in work and pump funds into local eco...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

David Littleproud MP interview with Tom Connell

Interview with Tom Connell – Sky News NewsDay   The Coalition’s latest drought support package   TOM CONNELL: David Littleproud, thanks for your time. We've got this drought package going throug...

Tom Connell - avatar Tom Connell

Prime Minister Address Tom Hughes Oration Dinner

Thank you very much, Julian, for that very kind introduction.  It was very generous. Thank you very much for those words.  It's great to be here with you.  I'm here today to give the vote of thank...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Travel

Style in Summer: A Guide to Visiting Melbourne, Australia This Holiday Season

Summer is one of the most exciting months in the city of Melbourne, with dozens of activities sprouting up all over the place and endless activities for everyone to engage in. If you are someone w...

News Company - avatar News Company

Once in a lifetime things to do in Beijing

The capital of China is an absolutely incredible city where there is lots of see and do. Let's take a look at some truly once in a lifetime things that you can experience in the location. 1 - Cli...

News Company - avatar News Company

Enjoy a short break in Perth this summer

With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to book a short break in Perth, a city fast becoming a hub for the arts, shopping and culinary delights as well as the unique natural scen...

Sarah Peattie - avatar Sarah Peattie

ShowPo