Question: What are the legalities surrounding Crystalline Silica?

Many of us however may not be aware that Crystalline Silica, a substance found in most rocks, sand and clay as well as in products such as bricks, concrete, tile and composite stone, can be just as hazardous to one’s health.

A worker can be exposed to Crystalline Silica during the excavation or tunnelling through quartz containing rock such as shale or sandstone. The very fine particles of Crystalline Silica created are then inhaled. The airborne dust is likely to occur when the materials are either cut, sanded or drilled. Alternatively there can be exposure through dry sweeping or the use of compressed air to move the material.

Depending on how much dust a worker breathes in and for how long, they will be exposed to a real risk of contracting Silicosis which is, essentially, a scarring of the lungs resulting in loss of lung function.

Employers are required to provide health monitoring to workers if there is a significant risk
to the worker’s health because of exposure to Crystalline Silica. Where the risk to health and safety cannot be eliminated there are a number of controls that the employer must apply to minimise the risk. Such controls would include:

  • Using local exhaust ventilation systems to remove dust at the source.
  • Isolate areas of the workplace where dust is generated by other workers.
  • Ensure regular housekeeping in dusty work areas to prevent the accumulation of dust.

If you have been exposed to hazardous chemicals such as Crystalline Silica and as a result have suffered an injury such as loss of lung function then you may be entitled to valuable compensation. Brydens Lawyers are the experts in the prosecution of all dust claims. For expert legal advice and representation contact Brydens Lawyers today to determine your rights to compensation and let Brydens Lawyers recover same for you.