It’s no secret that Australia is a country of renovators. Each month more than a billion dollars is spent sprucing up homes with additions that include shiny new kitchens and bathrooms.
But what’s not well known is that many of the young tradies who cut up the engineered stone to make the benches and vanities so desired by renovators have actually been handed a death sentence.
That’s because these man-made products contain silica, and its dust, when inhaled, is a killer. In fact, over time it’s considered to be as toxic as asbestos. In a joint investigation by 60 MINUTES, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Adele Ferguson reveals video proof of repeated safety breaches in Australian workplaces where tradies have been tasked with cutting and grinding the engineered stone into shape.
Equally concerning, Ferguson’s report contains damning evidence that while the affected workers say they have been unaware of the dangers, it’s certainly not the case when it comes to the manufacturers of these products.
Reporter: Adele Ferguson
Producers: Amelia Ballinger, Naomi Shivaraman
60 MINUTES – SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19, AT 8.40PM ON CHANNEL 9 & 9NOW
Media Release – Nine