Silica, a mineral found in soil, sand, granite, and various construction materials such as bricks, tiles, concrete, and artificial stone, is a serious health risk for individuals in industries such as mining, construction, or demolition. Exposure to dangerous amounts of crystalline silica can also occur from using power tools to cut, grind, and drill into artificial stone for bathroom and kitchen bench tops in home renovations. This exposure can result in silicosis, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer, all of which can have devastating effects on an individual’s quality of life. 

Silicosis is a debilitating disease that results from inhaling crystalline silica, and there is no known cure. The only way to prevent the disease or slow its progression is by removing the source of silica exposure. If you have suffered from a silica-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering. 

Your Legal Rights to Compensation

As a victim of a silica-related injury or illness, you have legal rights to compensation. This includes compensation for pain and suffering, care received from others (even if not paid for by you), medical expenses (past and future), loss of earnings, and loss of earning capacity. It is essential to understand your entitlements and seek compensation for your injuries. 

To make a successful claim, you will need to prove that the injury or illness was caused by the negligence or breach of duty of care of another person or company. In cases of silica exposure, this might include the employer, manufacturer, or supplier of the products or equipment used in the workplace. You will also need to provide evidence of the damages you have suffered, such as medical reports, receipts for medical expenses, and proof of lost income. 

It is important to know that there are strict time limits for making a personal injury claim under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 in Queensland. Therefore, seeking the advice of a legal practitioner is crucial to understand your prospects of making a claim. 

Taking Precautions to Protect Yourself

If you work in industries such as mining, construction, or demolition, or if you are carrying out renovations, it is important to take precautions to protect yourself from silica dust exposure. These precautions include using personal protective equipment, such as respirators and protective clothing, and ensuring adequate ventilation to reduce dust levels. 

In Queensland, the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 sets out the requirements for managing the risks associated with silica dust exposure. Employers are required to identify and assess the risks associated with silica dust exposure, implement controls to manage those risks, and provide training and information to workers about the risks and controls. 

Seeking Medical Attention

If you have been exposed to silica dust and are experiencing symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, or fatigue, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should also inform your employer and take steps to reduce your exposure to silica dust, such as using protective equipment like respirators and wetting down materials before cutting or grinding them. 

In conclusion, exposure to silica dust is a serious issue that can have significant health consequences. If you have suffered from a silica-related injury or illness, it is important to seek legal advice to understand your entitlements and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. By taking precautions to protect yourself and seeking medical attention if you experience symptoms, you can reduce your risk of suffering from silica-related health problems. 

Like? Share it with your friends.