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Silicosis compensation

Are you one of the estimated 600,000 Australian workers potentially suffering from silicosis? We’re ready to help you act and claim the compensation you deserve. 

Toxic exposure, silica and dust diseases

What is silicosis? 

Silicosis is an incurable lung disease caused by breathing in tiny particles of silica dust. It’s usually commonly found in the earth’s crust and is contained in materials such as: 

  • Quartz; 

  • Sand; 

  • Stone; 

  • Granite; and 

  • Brick among others.

The disease causes scarring, swelling and fluid build-up in the lungs that can make it difficult for a person to breathe.  In severe cases, it can advance to progressive massive fibrosis, with life-threatening consequences. 

Silicosis symptoms

Silicosis symptoms can take years to develop, even after your exposure to silica dust has ended. Progression of silicosis symptoms can vary from person to person, and some people may not develop any symptoms.  

The silicosis symptoms for the three types of silicosis include:  

Type of silicosis


When silicosis symptoms usually start

Acute silicosis 

Shortness of breath Cough Tiredness Sharp chest pain Weight loss 

Within a few weeks to a few years of exposure to silica dust 

Chronic silicosis 

Shortness of breath Low blood oxygen levels Fluid build-up in lungs Inflamed lungs 

10 to 30 years after exposure to silica dust 

Accelerated silicosis 

Difficulty in breathing Swollen lungs Swollen lymph nodes in chest 

Within 10 years of frequent exposure to silica dust 

Industries most at risk of silicosis

  • Mining;  

  • Construction;  

  • Demolition;   

  • Waste management; 

  • Automobile repairs; 

  • Cleaning; 

  • Engineering; and  

  • Stonemasonry.  

Note: Exposure to silica dust isn’t limited to these industries.

If your work involves the below, you may have been exposed to silica dust:

  • Breaking, cutting, crushing, grinding, quarrying or milling material containing silica dust  

  • sandblasting or casting  

  • Paving, surfacing or cement finishing  

  • Bricklaying  

  • Road construction  

  • Mineral ore-treating processes  

  • Manufacture of glass, dental material, jewellery, ceramics, brick, concrete, tile, metals or machinery.

Non-occupational exposure to silica dust  

Less commonly known is that exposure to silica dust isn’t limited to the workplace.  

For some, exposure can occur in the following circumstances:

  • Living or staying near industrial factories or sites that operate in the following: 

  • Quartz crushing;  

  • Agate grinding;  

  • Ceramics;  

  • Slate pencils;  

  • Mining and milling of sandstones/silica flour;  

  • Living or staying near natural sources of silica such as desert dust or sand; and 

  • Contact with uniforms/protective gear that are covered with silica dust/ particles.

What to do if you’re exposed to silicosis?  

Whether you have been exposed directly, or indirectly, to silica dust and begin to experience symptoms of silicosis it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.  

With strict time limitations for silicosis legal claims, a detailed record of your silica exposure, diagnosis and the right advice from a toxic exposure and dust disease legal expert will help to support your claim. 

You may be eligible for compensation

We’re here to make the claims process as simple and stress-free as possible.

How Shine can help 

We have helped thousands of Australians right wrong and access more than $1 billion per year in entitlements and compensation through our expert services. 

95% of the cases we represent are settled without the stress of going to court.

 We offer access to affordable legal advice including on a No Win, No Fee* basis and an obligation free initial consultation so you can understand your rights and know where you stand.  

*Conditions apply  

We are ready to take action to get you the support and compensation you're entitled to and right wrong. 

Toxic exposure, silica and dust diseases FAQs

Is there a toxic exposure, silica and dust diseases lawyer near me?

With more than 40 branches across Australia and 1000+ team members, location is no barrier when it comes to accessing Shine Lawyers legal advice and support. 

If you’d like to speak to our toxic exposure, silica and dust diseases team in person, you can see our full list of locations here

If you aren't able to find a location near you, we can easily arrange an obligation-free virtual appointment or discuss the option to meet at a location that’s comfortable and convenient for you. No matter where you are located, we will always provide the same, expert advice and manage your claim with the same level of quality and commitment. 

Can a claim still be brought if I am no longer employed or my employer is out of business?

Yes, in some circumstances a claim can still be investigated and brought if the employer is no longer in existence or if you are no longer employed by the business where you were exposed. Our silicosis lawyers can provide you with advice on this matter specific to your circumstances.

Can I claim compensation for my dependents?

In certain circumstances it may be possible to bring a claim for compensation on the behalf of dependants of people who are impacted by silicosis. We can provide you with advice on this matter specific to your situation. Contact us today to find out more.

I’m already receiving workers’ compensation payments, can I receive additional compensation?

Yes, in certain circumstances it may be open for you to obtain compensation additional to that received from a workers compensation scheme. Our silicosis lawyers can provide you with advice on this matter specific to your situation. 

Unable to work due to illness? You may be entitled to Superannuation and Disability Insurance

If you are unable to work due to illness or injury you might be entitled to benefits through your superannuation or other insurance policies. We recommend speaking to one of our experts for a quick, obligation-free analysis of your situation to determine your rights and ability to make a claim. 

Learn more about superannuation and disability insurance claims.

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