Manufactured stone is considered so dangerous the industry that sells it can’t get product liability insurance.
This will leave people exposed to the product in a distressingly similar situation to the people exposed to James Hardie’s asbestos.
In a parliamentary inquiry into silicosis, a disease caused by exposure to the dust created by cutting manufactured stone, representatives from this industry admitted they can get insurance for the product.
Greens MP David Shoebridge said:
“The industry has just admitted on record it can’t get insurance. This is a global first and can’t be ignored.
“If a building product can’t get insurance because of its risk of killing people then it shouldn’t be for sale.
“Insurers are looking at the long game and they can see that manufactured stone is a product that will bring a surge of future litigation.
“It’s time that all politicians took note and not just of the dollars it will cost, but more importantly of the lives it will take.
“This is history repeating, we’ve seen where this leads before with James Hardie and asbestos victims.
“Long drawn out court battles, more unnecessary suffering and injured workers, and then their families being short changed on compensation payouts.
“Silicosis is already killing workers with young families, affecting people whose entire lives should be ahead of them.
“We cannot afford to wait any longer we must act now to prevent further deaths and ban cutting manufactured stone.
“There are thousands of workers in the manufactured stone industry in NSW, all of who are exposed to silica dust, often at appalling high levels.
“We need to put the lives of workers above the demand for shiny bench-tops and rapidly implement a ban on manufactured stone benchtops,” Mr Shoebridge said.
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