Silica dust, the substance that causes silicosis, is found in rocks, sands and clays that are used in many different industries.
The prevalence of silica dust in everyday materials means that there are quite a few jobs in which workers come into contact with it. These workers are therefore at risk of developing silicosis if they are not provided with, or do not take, the proper precautions. These jobs include:
- Foundry work
- Construction jobs that involve breaking bricks or stones
- Glass manufacturing
- Asphalt manufacturing
- Demolition work
- Any job involving crushing, chipping or drilling concrete or rock.
Men are much more likely to develop silicosis than women. This is not because they are more prone to the disease, but because they are more likely to work in industries where they might be exposed to the dust.
Protecting yourself against Silicosis
If you work in any of the above industries, then it is essential that you follow your workplace safety guidelines. This will usually involve wearing a respirator, which will help stop you inhaling silica dust. You must inform your supervisor or employer if you believe your safety equipment is ineffective.
Before eating and drinking, you must also make sure you thoroughly wash your hands and stay away from dusty areas while on break. Keep in mind that you may still be at risk even if you cannot see any visible dust. You should also shower and/or change into clean clothes before leaving work so you do not contaminate your home.
Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), it is your employer's duty to inform you of all the appropriate precautions and issue all the necessary warnings. You should be provided with training on all safety equipment, and your employer must make sure such equipment is in proper working order. Control measures should be put in place to keep exposure to a minimum.
Thompsons Solicitors – claim with confidence
Despite having strict health and safety regulations that they need to enforce, employers sometimes neglect their responsibilities and their workforce suffers as a result. This is a clear breach of the duty of care owed to staff.
The symptoms of silicosis can be extremely upsetting for the victim, causing great pain and discomfort. Silicosis can also lead to other complications, such as progressive massive fibrosis and lung cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with silicosis and believe that it is because of your past or current employment, then you may be entitled to claim compensation
Thompsons Solicitors has a team of experienced No Win No Fee compensation lawyers, who have all the expertise required to guide you through every step of your claim. Our vast knowledge on all aspects of personal injury claims is matched by our passion and dedication to achieve the best outcome possible for all our clients.
Call Thompsons today on 0800 0891331.