Asbestos & DustDiseases


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 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 a consistent exposure to asbestos containing materials which exist in construction sites, on ships or in industrial facilities.

Industries and occupations at high risk of Asbestosis include:

  1. Construction Industry:
  • – Demolition Workers: Exposure occurs during the demolition of old buildings containing asbestos materials.
  • – Carpenters and Renovation Workers: Those involved in remodelling older structures may encounter asbestos insulation, tiles, and other materials.
  • – Insulators and Roofers: Handle asbestos containing material or work with concrete tiles during instillation,  maintenance, and repair activities.
  • – Plumbers and Electricians: Often work in areas with asbestos insulation around pipes and wiring.
  1. Shipbuilding and Repair:
  • – Shipyard Workers: Historically used asbestos for fireproofing and insulation in ships. Maintenance and repair work on older vessels can expose workers to asbestos.
  1. Manufacturing:
  • – Automotive Workers: Particularly those involved in brake and clutch repair where asbestos was used in past manufacturing.
  • – Boilermakers: Boiler instillation and repair often used asbestos.
  • – Textile Workers: Handling of asbestos-containing fabrics and materials.
  1. Asbestos Mining and Milling:
  • – Miners and Millers: Direct exposure during the extraction and processing of asbestos ores.

Symptoms  of Asbestosis include:

  • – Shortness of breath that gradually worsens over time.
  • – A persistent, dry cough.
  • – Chest tightness or chest pain.
  • – Weight loss from a loss of appetite.
  • – A dry, crackling sound in the lungs when inhaling.
  • – Clubbing of fingertips and toes (wideness and roundness beyond the norm).

Diagnosing asbestosis can be difficult. A history of asbestos exposure will be obtained and confirmed by lung function studies and high-resolution CT scanning. There are many treatments available to sufferers of asbestosis to slow the progression of the disease and to improve a patient’s quality of life once diagnosed. However, asbestosis is irreversible and there is no cure. Common treatment for asbestosis will include breathing treatments, pulmonary rehabilitation, medication and in more severe and rare cases, surgical lung transplantation. If you have been diagnosed with asbestosis or suspect that you suffer from this disease, it is recommended that you seek legal counsel to enquire about what compensation you may be entitled to. This can include those who are suffering from asbestosis following exposure to asbestos either over the course of their employment or in any other circumstances. Brydens Lawyers are experts in the prosecution of personal injury and worker’s compensation claims. We can assist with the prosecution of claims through the Dust Diseases Tribunal or making a claim for benefits under a Superannuation/Total and Permanent Disability Policy.

Enquire with us today and call 1800 848 848 or submit a form to investigate what compensation and benefits you may be entitled to.

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.

High risk industries and occupations for Silicosis include:

  1. Construction and Demolition
  • – Masonry Workers: Cutting, grinding, and drilling of concrete and brick can release silica dust.
  • – Sandblasters: High exposure from blasting surfaces clean, which involves sand containing silica.
  • – Demolition Workers: Exposure during the demolition of buildings containing materials with silica.
  1. Mining and Quarrying
  • – Miners: Drilling and blasting operations in mines release silica dust.
  • – Quarry Workers: Involved in the extraction and processing of stone and aggregates.
  1. Tunnel Workers
  • – Drilling and Blasting: Creating tunnels in rock involves exposure to silica dust.
  1. Manufacturing
  • – Foundry Workers: Exposed during the casting process involving sand moulds.
  • – Ceramic and Glass Manufacturing: Handling raw materials that contain silica.
  1. Oil and Gas Extraction
  • – Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) Workers: Inhalation of silica dust from sand used in the fracking process.
  1. Agriculture
  • – Farm Workers: Exposure to dust in soil that may contain silica particles.

The symptoms of silicosis range from mild coughs, sputum, and shortness of breath to fatigue, fever, night sweats, leg swelling and more. The longer silicosis lasts without treatment, the worse the symptoms can become, and patients may be particularly vulnerable to developing additional complications as a result.

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


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:

– Were exposed to dust, such as asbestos or sor silica while employed in New South Wales.

– 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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Brydens Lawyers were the only people to stand by me offering support and encouragement to get me through my injury. I have been a client since 2016, and the service has been amazing throughout both of my cases. Without Brydens Lawyers I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near the results that were achieved. I can’t thank them enough.

Sue from Sydney, a client of our Workers Compensation division.

Thank you so much for helping out with my case over the last few years. Henry Zhang was extremely helpful. Without his referral, this case would not have been possible. Silva Ishac was also instrumental in helping secure this case in my favour- thank you so much for your unwavering commitment and support.

A client of our Workers Compensation division.



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