Miners Silicosis Solicitors - Injury Compensation Claim LawyersAUSTRALIA LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 339 958
Our silicosis solicitors are committed to informing victims of silica exposure about their rights to silicosis compensation. If you have been diagnosed with silicosis, call our helpline, complete the contact form, or send an email to receive legal advice from a solicitor.
Silica is a naturally occurring mineral. Miners of metals, minerals and coal can all be potentially exposed to crystalline silica dust. Rocks such as granite and quartz have high concentrations of crystalline silica. When these rocks are drilled, crushed or broken in the mining process, some of the silica may turn into dust. Even if the product being mined doesn't contain silica dust (metal ores, coal, etc.), many rocks that need to be drilled into and removed in the process, often contain silica, therefore posing a serious threat of exposure to silica dust.
The greater the amount of dust created and the tighter the workspace and lack of ventilation, the greater the risk of developing an occupational silica disease. Prolonged exposure, especially over several years, also increases the risk of developing silicosis.
Silica exposure and silica disease often lead to other lung diseases as well. Some of these respiratory diseases and complications include: lung cancer, tuberculosis, fibrosis, bronchitis, and emphysema. Tuberculosis is the most common complication of silicosis.
Silicosis occurs by breathing in silica dust particles which then lodge in the lungs. The silica particles deposit in the small air sacs known as alveoli where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. The silica particles cause fibrous tissue to form in the air sacs which in turn makes the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide more difficult. The result is that the person feels short of breath. Other symptoms include: tiredness, dry coughing, wheezing.
A chest x-ray and/or CT scan together with a thorough work history obtained from the patient, are the usual methods of diagnosing silicosis. Fibrous tissue will show on these scans. In most cases, a CT scan is preferable because it is more sensitive for detecting silicosis as well as the transition from simple to more severe or 'conglomerate silicosis'. A chest CT scan also can better distinguish asbestosis from silicosis.
Lung function tests can be performed using a spirometer. This test assesses the performance of the lungs.
Unfortunately there is no cure for silicosis. Even if the worker is removed from the environment, the disease will progress over time. Whole lung lavage and/or the use of oral corticosteroids are treatment options with limited success at alleviating symptoms. Lung transplantation is a last-resort.
Prevention is best. Tools causing dust should be fitted with dust extraction devices. Adequate ventilation systems should be in place. Workers should have regular medical check-ups and x-rays to allow for early diagnosis.
Our silicosis solicitors are experts at handling dust disease claims. If you have been diagnosed with silicosis or a related condition, then contact our lawyers for legal advice. No Win No Fee legal representation is also available.AUSTRALIA LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 339 958