If silicosis has set you back, we'll help you move forward
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by silicosis, we can help.
In this article
You are not alone
Silicosis is a lung disease caused by inhaling silica dust, a common mineral found in certain types of stone, rock, granite, sand and clay. The Health and Safety Executive reports that silicosis dust is responsible for more than 600 deaths each year; two-thirds reported cases occur in the construction sector.
Workers and retired workers who are diagnosed with silicosis after being exposed to silica dust at work may be entitled to make an industrial diseases claim against their employer.
Do I qualify for silicosis compensation?
If you've been injured or made ill in the last three years and it wasn't your fault, then you will be entitled to claim compensation for silicosis.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
How long after a silicosis diagnosis do I have to claim compensation?
For most injury claims, you have up to 3 years from the date of your injury to start the claims process.
If your injury or illness is not immediately apparent, the 3-year time limit starts from the date that you injury or illness was diagnosed and your were informed of the likely caused.
What is silicosis lung disease?
Silica dust is toxic to the lining of the lungs. When inhaled, it causes inflammation that irreversibly damages the lung tissue - a condition known as silicosis.
If silicosis is suspected but not yet formally diagnosed, the claimant's solicitor will arranged for a medical examination to confirm the diagnosis, recommend further treatment, and provide medical evidence so the claim can progress.
The Courts recognise that the severity of silicosis symptoms will affect an individual's life to varying degrees, and adjust the compensation awarded accordingly. The three main types of silicosis are:
- Simple chronic silicosis - the most common type of silicosis that occurs after 20 years of inhaling silica dust, causing shortness of breath and a dry cough.
- Accelerated silicosis - occurs in workers who inhale higher levels of silica over a shorter period, usually between 5 and 15 years. Symptoms develop sooner and include severe breathlessness, fatigue and weight loss.
- Acute silicosis - a rare form of the disease that occurs after brief exposure to very high levels of silica dust. Symptoms may be immediate and severe, include breathing difficulty, chest pain and fluid on the lungs that does not respond to treatment. Prognosis depends on the amount of damage to the lungs.
How much compensation can I claim for a silicosis?
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages is compensation for quantifiable financial losses you've incurred as a result of your silicosis Compensation can include loss of wages, commission and any other income income, and any additional expenses directly related to your injury.
These damages will also cover any medical or treatment bills, such as inhalers, oxygen therapy and psychological support.
Who is at risk of silicosis?
People who cut, break, drill, crush or otherwise work with silica-containing materials are most at risk of developing silicosis. As such, silicosis is more prevalent among workers in the following industries:
- Quarry works
- Sand blasting
- Foundry work
You do not need to have been employed in these industries to make a silicosis claim. If you have been exposed to silica dust as the result of another party's negligence, and have developed silicosis as a result, you may be able to make a claim.
Your solicitor will help to identify the party responsible for the exposure, and will advise on whether a claim can be made.
Is my employer liable?
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 impose far-reaching obligations on employers to minimise the effects of silica exposure, including:
- Risk assessments to gauge whether the work environment is hazardous
- Issuing personal protective equipment to employees
- Providing adequate safety training.
If an employer has breached their health and safety regulations, or has otherwise failed to take reasonable steps to keep their workers safe from harm, then a silicosis compensation claim can be made.
What if my employer has gone out of business?
By law, employers must maintain Employers' Liability insurance to compensate their workers and former workers in the event that they suffer an accident or injury while at work.
Quittance's network of expert industrial claims solicitors can help trace the insurers of a former employer using the Employers' Liability Tracing Office and records held at Companies House. Even if an employer is no longer in business, it is still possible to make a claim for silicosis compensation against the insurer. Learn more from our article "Can I claim compensation if my employer has ceased trading "
Employers' liability claims claims
Work-related illness claims are also known as employers' liability claims. Click on the icons below for more information:
How we can help you with your industrial disease claim
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning industrial disease claims.
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Handled with the utmost professionalism... extremely kind, courteous and empathetic.
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher
About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.