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Have you worked with dust? – Could silicosis be killing you?

Silicosis and other work dust diseases continue to blight and claim lives as recent statistics show.

Workers who have worked in dust continue to suffer and die as a Health & Safety Executive report for 2017 confirms. The report also accepts that there is huge under reporting and that the true number of dust victims is much higher than the statistics show.

Could you or your loved one by one of them? In this article we can show how we have helped people and might be able to help you.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published 2017 annual figures which show these killer diseases are still claiming lives. They will continue to do so for years to come.

What sort of work dust causes illness?

No dust you breathe in is good for you. The HSE list the following stones which carry risks of disease

  • sandstone, gritstone, quartzite
  • concrete, mortar
  • shale
  • china stone
  • slate
  • granite
  • ironstone
  • basalt, dolerite
  • limestone, chalk, marble


Work Dust and Silicosis – Key Facts and Figures

The statistics are gathered using several methods. This includes numbers of people who have claimed Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), death certificates with disease on them and information from doctors is used. These doctors use the SWORD system to share information about dust disease victims.

Lung disease is estimated to cause 12,000 annual deaths

There are 18,000 annual new cases of breathing or lung problems caused or made worse by work

The figures show a steadily declining picture across the board but that victims are still found and are still dying.

The majority of dust disease cases which are not due to coal or asbestos are SILICOSIS.

The reports are  here

What jobs cause silicosis and work dust diseases?

Silicosis can basically be involved with any job involves dust.  Typically the most common work is:-

  • stonemasons and bricklayers
  • other construction related occupations
  • Marie mining and quarrying
  • foundry related occupations
silicosis work dust
work dust and silicosis are still affecting workers

Our claims success for work dust and silicosis victims

Very recently Corries have won damages for two SILICOSIS claimants for significant damages.

The first case, Mr T was a tunneller. He worked on the Tyne Tunnel amongst other tunnelling projects. He died due to unrelated cancer. Very late in his lifetime he was diagnosed with suspected silicosis.  We investigated this and were able to prove his silicosis was causing breathing problems and adding to his disability. We secured compensation for his family after he died.

The second client ,Mr N, was only diagnosed with suspected silicosis a matter of weeks before his death.  He had worked as a foundry man. He had worked with different silica dusts during this time.

In his autopsy nodules were found in the lung which actually had the silica dust in them. This showed how much damage the dust had done to his lungs and how his lungs could not break them down over the years.

Further information about silicosis can be found from our link here

Corries comment

Many hard working people will have worked with deadly dusts. Some will develop disease in the years to come. Many more may die due to dust disease.

In our experience many doctors are not asking about people’s work or are missing the diagnosis. Being diagnosed too late prevents chances to at least manage the difficulties and get proper advice. Typically doctors may ask if you have smoked or worked in a mine or with asbestos. Seldom are other questions asked.

What can I do?

If you have worked with any of the dusts mentioned above and are suffering then tell your doctor.

To help get to the bottom of this and secure proper advice:-

  1. Tell your doctor about your working life – write it out and hand it over if you have a short appointment;
  2. Ask for a chest x ray
  3. If problems continue seek a referral to a chest expert with a knowledge of work dust diseases even if this is not at your most local hospital – you must invest in this process if you want to find out what is wrong with you.

How we can help

Charlie Bradley, Solicitor in Corries Industrial Disease Department said

The UK has a grim legacy of workers dying due to dust disease. This legacy will continue to affect thousands many each year. In my experience people need to ask about this much earlier and help their doctor. Whilst the diseases are serious early help can mean better management and support. Knowing what is wrong with you is enormously helpful to many victims.

Doctors and patients need to work together. They can really make a difference. Hopefully we may be the last generation to have to help silicosis victims.”

If you suspect you have silicosis or other work chest disease then call us. Our team will speak to you on a FREE confidential basis to see if we can help. Call us now on 0800 0837839.



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