In 2018, Safe Work Australia engaged ThinkPlace Pty Ltd to undertake exploratory research into dust exposure from the manufacturing and cutting of natural and composite stone benchtops. This report presents the approach and findings of the qualitative research into the manufacture and cutting of natural and composite stone in several workplaces in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
The small scale of the study and its focus on small business means the key insights outlined in this report may not necessarily be reflective of the broader stone industry. However, this research adds to the body of WHS evidence in the industry and aligns with the findings of other research and industry concerns.
As the research uses an in-depth approach, it offers detailed information about the views and behaviours of manufacturers and installers of natural and composite stone benchtops, revealing insights about workers’ awareness of the health and safety risks of workplace dust. Rather than reporting on a stand-alone research project, this report is intended to inform and stimulate a broader conversation around WHS in the stone industry and initiate further evidence and policy work to improve WHS outcomes for the industry.