Do you or someone you care about suffer from silicosis-related lung disease due to silica exposure in the workplace? Shine Lawyers can assist you. If you have been exposed to silica dust which results in solicosis, regardless of how recently, please submit your details to our Silica Exposure Register.
What is silicosis?
Silicosis is a lung disease caused by breathing in tiny particles of silica dust. Silica dust is a mineral found in materials such as quartz, sand, stone, granite and brick among others.
According to the Chest Foundation there are three types of silicosis: acute, which occurs within a few weeks or years of exposure to inhaled silica; chronic, which appears 10 to 30 years after exposure and can cause extreme scarring; and accelerated, which occurs within ten years of intense exposure (https://foundation.chestnet.org/patient-education-resources/silicosis).
The disease causes scarring, swelling and fluid build-up in the lungs that interferes with a person’s ability to breathe. Silicosis can advance to progressive massive fibrosis with life threatening consequences.
According to an article published in 2017 in The Conversation, silicosis has had a recent resurgence due to the number of people working with engineered stone products (such as kitchen and bathroom benchtops and tiles) and likely a lack of adherence to safety requirements (https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-silicosis-and-why-is-this-old-lung-disease-making-a-comeback-80465).
How to prevent silicosis?
The article published in The Conversation goes on to list ways of preventing silicosis such as
- Surpressing dust with water application practices;
- Use the right exhaust ventilation and extraction hoods;
- Wear the right dust masks and air filters;
All Australian workplaces must follow workplace health and safety laws. For detailed information about silicosis and its prevention visit https://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/workplace-cancer/silica-dust.html.
Silicosis was more common from the 1940s to the 1960s in construction and demolition workers. Its resurgence is linked to newer engineered stone products.
In NSW, there has been an average of nine officially reported cases of silicosis each year since 2011/2012. This only takes into account workers who have applied for compensation (https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/forgotten-industrial-diseases-reappear-20170629-gx0yri.html).
Around 6.6% of Australian workers are exposed to silica dust that can be breathed in, with 3.7% heavily exposed. (https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-silicosis-and-why-is-this-old-lung-disease-making-a-comeback-80465).
Silicosis has no cure.
Workers who develop silicosis or other dust diseases in the workplace may be able to claim compensation for their injuries. Shine Lawyers have expert compensation lawyers who work on a No Win No Fee* basis and would be happy to discuss your claim.
For information about asbestos law and asbestos-related claims visit our asbestos compensation claims page
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..