Silicosis Compensation Claims
Silicosis is an incurable lung disease which is caused by breathing in large amounts of dust containing respirable crystalline silica (RCS). This will normally occur over a prolonged period of time, although on are occasions acute silicosis can develop in a short space of time if exposure is particularly heavy.
Silica is an extremely common substance and is found in many industrial environments. Stone, rock, sand, clay and numerous other materials contain silica. Any job which involves working with these substances and also involves activities such as drilling, cutting, blasting and hammering will cause silica dust. This can then be inhaled.
Once inside the lungs, the dust particles are attacked by the immune system which causes inflammation. This in turn leads to scarring and hardening of the lung tissue known as fibrosis. The development of fibrosis will prevent the lungs working effectively giving rise to symptoms of breathlessness and chest pain. As the condition develops it can also lead to weight loss, fatigue and on occasions clubbing (swelling) of the fingers.
Workers with silicosis are at an increased risk of developing tuberculosis, kidney disease and arthritis. Exposure to RCS may also cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
A substantial amount of exposure is usually required to cause silicosis although symptoms can often take many years to develop. The time taken to develop symptoms is often an indicator of the level of exposure which has occurred. It can take around 20 years for symptoms to develop where there has been exposure to low levels of silica over a long period of time. Where exposure has been heavier symptoms may develop much earlier
Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, every employer must take appropriate steps to avoid exposure to dangerous substances such as silica. Where exposure cannot be avoided completely, appropriate measures must be taken to minimise the risk of injury, for example by the provision of appropriate ventilation and extraction together with suitable personal protective equipment.
In the event that you have been diagnosed as suffering from silicosis it may be possible to pursue a successful claim for personal injury compensation.
All personal injury claims are pursued on a No Win No Fee basis so you can rest assured that there is no financial risk.
To begin a personal injury compensation claim or obtain further advice with no obligation contact Sintons 24/7.