Statement from Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace ~ Passing of Anthony White

Published: Comments:
Business Business & Economy Employment & Training Law & Safety Political Queensland Government Small Business


I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Anthony White who worked in the engineered stone industry and suffered from an advanced stage of silicosis.

On behalf of the Government, I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to his family and friends.

Even in the face of immense personal tragedy, Mr White showed incredible bravery in highlighting the deadly consequences of prolonged and unsafe exposure to silica dust.

Mr White had an accepted WorkCover claim and WorkCover has reached out to his family to offer condolences and support.  

I’m advised Mr White is the first Queensland worker from the engineered stone industry with this illness to have passed away.

We owe it to all victims and families who are impacted by work-related deaths to do everything possible to prevent further tragedies and ensure that employers meet their obligations to provide safe workplaces.

The Palaszczuk Government’s response to silicosis:

After receiving advice from my Department on the troubling spike in silicosis cases last year, I acted immediately and issued a public warning and an industry alert confirming the banning of dry cutting.

Engineered stone industry workers and their families can be assured that we’re doing all we can to support workers diagnosed with this disease.

Worker safety is paramount, and all workers deserve to return home safely to their loved ones at the end of a day’s work.

Queensland is leading the way in responding to the threat of silicosis.

Since the first urgent safety warning was issued on 18 September 2018, we have:

  • undertaken audits of all 138 known engineered stone benchtop fabricators in Queensland;
  • arranged for free health screening of 810 workers in the engineered stone benchtop industry with estimated cost of $3 to $4 million;
  • hosted two forums in relation silicosis on 9 November 2018 – a medical forum with discussion facilitated by leading international expert Professor Robert Cohen and national expert Dr Ryan Hoy.
  • held an industry forum for employers and workers within the engineered stone benchtop industry attracted over 130 attendees; and
  • established an expert medical working group which held its first meeting last week
  • ensured the issue of silicosis is on the national agenda.

A free counselling service can be accessed by workers who are diagnosed with silicosis. If workers or family member would like to access these services, they should contact WorkCover for a referral.

Any worker worried about their exposure to silica dust should see their doctor and contact WorkCover on 1300 362 128 to arrange a health screen.

Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace

Queensland Government : Employment and Industrial Relations :
Queensland Wide
13 74 68
Queensland Government : Employment and Industrial Relations
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Rogue labour hire provider convicted 18 June 2019 | Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has welcomed an Australian-first conviction of a labour hire provider who supplied workers to a business without a licence to do so. More information...
Lowest workers’ compensation rates providing stability for Queensland employers 14 June 2019 | Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has today announced that WorkCover Queensland will maintain its current premium rate for another 12 months, the sixth straight year that the rate has remained the same. More information...
Government to appeal solar farms ruling, workers safety paramount 30 May 2019 | Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has announced that the State Government will lodge an appeal against a Supreme Court of Queensland judgement to invalidate recently introduced regulations relating to... More information...
Feedback sought on changes to construction industry long service leave scheme 02 May 2019 | The Palaszczuk Government is seeking feedback on proposed changes to construction industry portable long service leave levy arrangements aimed at ensuring the scheme’s long-term financial viability. More information...
Sons' tragic deaths inspire parents to keep workers safe 29 April 2019 | The parents of two Queenslanders who were electrocuted at work are sharing their stories to remind others to stay safe. More information...
Share your vision for a safer Queensland 15 April 2019 | Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has launched the 2019 Safe Work and Return to Work Awards. More information...
New safety code to make Queensland solar farm jobs safer 09 April 2019 | The new regulations mean only licensed electricians can mount, locate, fix or remove solar panels on solar farms with a total rated capacity of at least 100kW. More information...
Kids urged to be Ride Ready on quad bikes this Easter 01 April 2019 | As the school holidays and Easter camping trips approach, the Palaszczuk Government is asking parents to think about safety before their kids jump onto a quad bike. More information...
Palaszczuk Government supports pay increase for lowest paid 20 March 2019 | The Palaszczuk Government is supporting a $25.17 per week pay rise for Queensland’s lowest paid private sector workers. More information...
Queensland appoints first Work Health Safety Prosecutor 19 March 2019 | The Palaszczuk Government has announced the appointment of Aaron Guilfoyle as Queensland’s first independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service