Industrial Disease Claims

Silicosis Compensation Claims

Silicosis is a rare lung condition caused by excessive exposure to certain kinds of dust, specifically the crystalline form of silicone dioxide, often found in the dust of rocks, clay and sand.

It's an occupational condition widely linked to people who have worked previously as miners or potters, and can be life changing to all those who fall victim to it. If you've suffered from silicosis because of work, our solicitors could help you claim compensation.

The following industries are particularly at risk:

  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Demolition
  • Pottery and ceramics
  • Glass manufacturing
  • Sand blasting
  • Stone masonry and cutting
  • Paving

Wherever you work, your employer has a duty of care to protect you from health and safety risks, and this includes exposure to silica dust. Our lawyers have pursued successful silicosis claims for workers and former workers in a variety of industries.

The main symptoms of silicosis are a persistent cough and shortness of breath, as well as weakness and tiredness. It can often take up to 20 to 30 years for the symptoms to appear, which could be long after you've left the job where exposure took place. If you've been diagnosed with silicosis you should consider whether the condition might have been caused by a current or former working environment. You may be able to claim even if the exposure happened decades ago, and even if the company you worked for has since gone out of business.

Contact us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation, where we'll discuss your case and whether we think you can make a claim.

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Experience in a wide range of respiratory conditions
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Silicosis Claims - More Information
    • How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
    • How much compensation you receive after a work-related illness will depend on a few factors related to your illness, its circumstances, and the support and rehabilitation you need.

      The amount of compensation you could claim is based on:

      • Current and future loss of earnings
      • Medical and travel expenses you've had to pay
      • Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
      • Modifications to your home
      • Mobility aids
      • Your pain and suffering

      For more information, call us on 0800 056 4110 and we'll be happy to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.

    • Can I Make A No Win No Fee* Claim?
    • Many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case, we'll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household or car insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you're best supported by a No Win No Fee* agreement, we'll explain the process clearly. You'll only have to pay anything if your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees, with the remaining costs coming out of your compensation settlement.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • How Long Do I Have To Make A Claim?
    • Usually you need to make a compensation claim within three years of becoming aware that your illness might be linked to your work.

      In fatal cases, the family of the deceased has three years to make a claim, starting from either the date your loved one died, or the date you received the post-mortem results.

      If your illness occurred while working outside of the UK, then the time limit can be shorter. In this instance, it's vital that you contact us as soon as possible.

      If you have any concerns or questions about the time limit for claiming compensation, call our team today on 0800 056 4110 for free initial advice and to talk through your options.

    • Can I Get Early Compensation Payments?
    • Early compensation payments, also known as interim payments, are made in advance of any final settlement. They’re only made in an agreement with your opponent, if they admit that they're responsible for your illness.

      Interim payments can be used to replace lost earnings, so you can afford to pay essential bills if your illness has meant you’ve been absent from work, as well as covering the cost of specialist medical care or mobility equipment.

      We'll work hard to get an early admission of fault, and also to obtain early compensation payments to relieve any immediate financial pressures you’re feeling.

    • Will I Lose My Job If I Claim Against My Employers?
    • If you wish to make a claim against your current employer, then any compensation would be paid by their insurer. It has been compulsory to have insurance for many years, so it’s highly likely that they will have this in place. There are also legal safeguards in place to protect you from unfair dismissal.

      This basically means that your employer must be able to justify their reason for dismissing you in relation to your claim, which is highly unlikely. If you want to discuss this subject in more detail, our workplace illness solicitors will be able to talk you through your rights and what you can expect.

If I did not understand anything, I would just ask him to explain things and he would explain it all to me.”

Peter, client

Frequently Asked Questions

How Should My Employer Have Protected Me From Work-Related Silicosis?

Silicosis is caused by exposure to dust, and should be preventable if employers follow best practice in their health and safety policies. The Health and Safety at Work Act states that your employer must protect you from any health risks in the workplace, and to minimise the danger of silicosis an employer should:

  • Advise you on what the hazards and risks are
  • Explain what the exposure limits are
  • Share any results of exposure monitoring
  • Provide respiratory protective equipment (RPE), such as masks and filters

RPE should be fit for purpose – simple face covers will be appropriate for some environments, but others may require full face masks and filters, and these need to be fitted correctly.

If you've not been provided with the right RPE, or you haven't been given enough training or information, then then your employer’s negligence could have put you at risk. If you’re unsure, then contact us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free consultation on your case.

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What Are The Health Impacts Of Silicosis?

Silicosis is often difficult to diagnose because it can take up to 20 to 30 years for symptoms to develop in some cases, which may be years after you've stopped working in the environment that could have caused it. Left untreated, it can cause serious health problems.

The disease causes swelling in the lungs, and leads to areas of hardened and scarred lung tissue – this is called fibrosis. Damaged lung tissue doesn't function properly, and this causes coughing, weakness, tiredness, and a persistent shortness of breath.

Depending on how serious the condition is, these symptoms can get worse, which can make it difficult for those with silicosis to walk around, or even get out of bed. Particularly severe cases can tragically be fatal.

Although it's rare, silicosis can also increase your risk of other serious conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Chest infections, including tuberculosis (TB)
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Lung conditions, including lung cancer and pulmonary issues

The damage caused to the lungs by silicosis is irreversible, but there are steps that can be taken to reduce health risks. The NHS advises that you should:

  • Make sure you're not exposed to any more silica dust
  • Stop smoking
  • Have annual flu jabs, pneumococcal vaccinations, and regular TB tests

Various medications can be used to help make breathing easier, and oxygen therapy is also an option for people who have particular difficulty breathing.

Helping you gain access to rehabilitation treatments that help you cope with your illness is an essential part of our service. Our dedication to making sure our clients get the medical support they need has seen us win the Claimant Solicitor of the Year award at the Post Magazine's Rehabilitation First Awards seven times.

If you have any more questions about how we can help you gain access to treatment, or any other aspect of the claims process, call us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free consultation.

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Why Choose Irwin Mitchell For A Silicosis Compensation Claim?

We have an established track record in dealing with workplace illness claims of all kinds, including those involving respiratory problems such as silicosis, occupational asthma, and asbestos-related illnesses.

We believe that there is more to be done to protect workers from the risks of silica dust – and we have campaigned heavily for this over the last few years in addition to handling a number of silicosis compensation claims.

Claiming compensation from an employer can be a daunting prospect, so it’s important to have experienced lawyers on your side. We’ll handle every aspect of your case, offering advice in plain English and letting you know exactly what we need from you.

Because silicosis takes so long to develop in many cases, it's common for our clients' former employers to have gone out of business since they worked there. If this is the case, we'll track down their insurer, who will still be liable for your compensation.

We act on behalf of a number of trade unions, but we can still help you make a claim if you're not a member of one. Our solicitors specialise in helping people claim for work-related conditions, and want to make sure that you receive the best compensation possible, as well as the medical care that you need.

To find out more about how to claim for silicosis, and how we can help, call us today on 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation about your claim.

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Awards & Recognition

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK


"They are forensic and analytical as well as campaigning and careful. All of the lawyers work tirelessly for the smaller cases as well as the bigger cases."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven previous occasions.
"One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."

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Making a difference – specialist care and support services.

Rehabilitation means different things to different people. For some it’s being able to return to work, while for others it’s being able to become more independent around the house. Our personal injury solicitors are here for you whatever your situation is, and you can be reassured that we’ll help you access the care and support you need to make the best recovery possible.

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