Safety Bulletin - April 2024

Australia – Changes to Industrial Chemicals Rules to commence

The Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme has announced that amendments to the Industrial Chemicals (General) Rules 2019 will commence on 24 April 2024. The changes include improvements to record keeping and reporting requirements, categorisation criteria, and health and environmental protection.

Read more from the Department of Health and Aged Care here.


Queensland – Consultation on new anti-discrimination legislation undertaken

The QLD Government has consulted on a Draft Anti-Discrimination Bill 2024 which would replace the existing Act, following an earlier review. Proposed workplace-related provisions include a positive duty to eliminate discrimination, sexual harassment, vilification and victimisation, and a range of situations where discrimination against a worker or potential worker is prohibited.

Read more from the Queensland Cabinet and Ministerial Directory here.


Australia – Engineered stone ban progressing

WHS Ministers have agreed to several amendments to WHS laws, following a meeting to discuss the next steps on banning the use of engineered stone. Amendments will be made to prohibit the use of engineered stone benchtops, slabs and panels; and to exclude from the ban, sintered stone and porcelains products that do not contain resin, as well as finished engineered stone products that do not require processing or modification. A framework for exemptions from the ban will be managed by State and territory WHS regulators, and a six-month transitional period may be adopted by jurisdictions. Further work will be undertaken on benchtops, slabs and panels made of alternative materials, with a review to be completed by 31 July 2025. Additionally, regulation of other crystalline silica processes will be strengthened for all industries. The model WHS Regulations amendments are expected to be finalised by April 2024.

Read more from the Department of Employment and Work Relations here.