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Asbestos & DustDiseases

Asbestos & DustDiseases

Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral which is made up of fine, durable fibres which are
resistant to heat, fire and many chemicals. Asbestos was used for many different purposes
including building materials, fire proof vests and in-home or commercial construction.

Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a dust disease. It is a chronic disease characterised by scarring of the lungs
which can lead to long-term breathing complications. Asbestosis is exclusively caused by the
exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately asbestosis is usually not diagnosed for many years, if
not decades, after the exposure has occurred.
Many cases of asbestosis can be linked to consistent exposure to asbestos containing
materials which exist in construction sites, on ships or in industrial facilities.
Symptoms of asbestosis will include breathlessness that gradually worsens over time. With
the scarring of the lung it begins to shrink and breathing becomes more difficult.
Diagnosing asbestosis can be difficult. It is usually made when a history is obtained of
asbestos exposure confirmed by lung function studies and high-resolution CT scanning.
There are many treatments available to sufferers of asbestosis to slow the progress of the
disease and to aid in their living a long life following diagnosis. However, asbestosis is
irreversible and there is no cure. Common treatment for asbestosis will include breathing
treatments and medication. Surgical intervention is also an option but rarely undertaken.
Brydens Lawyers are experts in the prosecution of personal injury claims to recover
compensation for those who have been injured during the course of their employment or
otherwise. This includes the prosecution of claims for those who are suffering with asbestosis
following exposure to asbestos either during the course of their employment or in any other
circumstance.
If you have been diagnosed with asbestosis or there is a suspicion that you suffer from this
disease then contact Brydens Lawyers today to speak with one of our experts for the
purpose of enquiring as to what valuable rights to compensation you may have available
which could include the prosecution of a claim through the Dust Diseases Tribunal or making
a claim for benefits under a Superannuation/Total and Permanent Disablement Policy.

Crystalline Silica

We have all heard of claims brought by workers who have suffered significantly as a result of the exposure to toxic or hazardous chemicals such as asbestos which can lead to the contraction of asbestosis and/or mesothelioma.
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.

WHAT ARE YOU ABLE TO CLAIM?

A claim can be made with the Dust Disease Board and/or the Dust Disease Tribunal.

You are entitled to make a claim upon the Dust Disease Board provided that you:

  1. Were exposed to dust, such as asbestos or sor silica while employed in New South Wales.
  2. Have contracted a nominated disease such as asbestosis or mesothelioma.

Should you meet the above criteria you may be entitled to weekly payments of compensation for your loss of wages and have all of your related medical expenses paid for.

Additionally you are entitled to make a claim upon the Dust Disease Tribunal for lump sum compensation. In order to do so you need to establish that one or more of your employers or manufacturers of asbestos products were negligent and that as a consequence of that negligence you now suffer from the dust disease.

If you are awarded a lump sum of damages from the Tribunal your rights to weekly compensation and medical expenses from the Dust Diseases Board continues.

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE TO MAKE A CLAIM?

Those who have been exposed to asbestos may develop a dust disease. The gap between exposure and the first appearance of symptoms can range between 10 and 50 years.

Various lung conditions that can be traced directly to asbestos exposure include:

  • Asbestosis
  • Mesothelioma
  • Silicosis
  • Asbestos related Pleural Plaques disease
  • Asbestos related lung cancer
  • Coal Dust

WHEN SHOULD YOU CONSULT A LAWYER ABOUT MAKING A CLAIM?

If you have been informed by your doctor that you have asbestos in your lungs you should contact us so that we can investigate the matter further

WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP?

To make a claim in the Dust Disease Board an “Application for past or present worker for workers compensation benefits” is required to be completed and lodged with the Board.

Brydens Lawyers are the experts in prosecution of dust diseases claims particularly for asbestos and mesothelioma.

WHY ARE BRYDEN’S LAWYERS THE RIGHT REPRESENTATION FOR YOU?

We have represented many clients who have been diagnosed with asbestosis. We are here to assist you in completing the application to be lodged with the dust diseases board (ICare) and to investigate if you have further entitlements in the dust disease tribunal.

WE DO WORKERS COMPENSATION LAW WELL. HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES:

A client worked for James Hardie and was exposed to asbestos dust for many years. He was diagnoses with pleural plaques. We were able to get him weekly payments from the dust disease board as well as prosecute a claim against James Hardie in the Dust Disease Tribunal.

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LATEST NEWS FROM LEE


Superannuation, as we know, is a legal obligation on the part of all employers to contribute a minimum percentage of each employee's earnings to a compliant superannuation fund or retirement savings account. Currently the superannuation guarantee contribution rate is 9.5% of a worker’s ordinary time earnings.This rate will increase by 0.5% on 1 July 2021. Further increments will apply annually up until 2025/26 when ultimately the superannuation guarantee rate will be set at 12%.

This of course is good news for all employees. It is however only good news if the superannuation guarantee rate is in fact paid by the employer.

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