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The link between tunnelling and silicosis  

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Silicosis cases amongst tunnel workers are on the rise. If you’re involved in tunnelling and below-ground excavation work it’s vital you know the risks, how to protect yourself and what to do if you’re diagnosed.

Silicosis & the risks of silica exposure

Silicosis is an incurable, often fatal, lung disease caused by breathing in silica dust – which is found in almost every type of natural rock, sand, clay and gravel in Australia.

Symptoms of advanced silicosis can include:

  • chronic and severe breathlessness
  • chronic immobility
  • oxygen dependence
  • organ failure

Silica dust can also cause lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma and auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and renal failure.

Know your rights: Contact Maurice Blackburn

If you’re diagnosed with – or are suspected of having – silicosis or any other lung disease, you should immediately limit your exposure to silica dust and speak to your GP.

You should also speak with a lawyer to understand your legal rights and to learn whether you may be eligible for compensation. Fill out the form below and one of our expert lawyers will be in touch for a free and confidential discussion.

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Complete the form below to request a call back from our expert team. It costs nothing to know where you stand.


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