The Lethal Effects of the Mineral Silica

Posted by on Jun 28, 2013

Work-related or workplace injury is one type of personal injury that always registers a high rate of claim annually in the US. Due to this, the federal government has obligated all employers to include compensation insurance in the workers’ benefits which will ensure fast financial assistance or coverage in the event that a worker gets injured in the workplace.

Worker’s compensation, like Social Security is a mandated benefit; it includes payments for lost wages, death benefits, medical care and specific loss benefits (a benefit given to those whose jobs have caused permanent or severe deformity on their face, head or neck; this benefit is also given to those who have lost permanent use (whether part or whole) of their hand, finger, thumb, leg, toe, foot, sense of hearing and sense of sight.

The workers’ compensation benefit which was passed into law in 1908 is a much needed financial assistance, especially to construction workers, furnace repairers and installers, sandblasters, foundry workers, raw materials handlers, miners and many others who develop job-related illnesses even years after retirement. One very common mineral these workers are exposed to is silica, which can be inhaled in dust form during breaking or crushing of rocks and sands. Many are not fully aware of the deadly effect this widely used mineral has, though.

Inhalation of silica dust can lead to silicosis, a lethal form of lung illness that leaves the lungs scarred and inflamed. The effects of silicosis are irreversible, even though exposure to silica has long ceased.There are three known types of silicosis those affected can suffer from:

  • Chronic Silicosis – this is the most common form of silicosis and its symptoms may remain undetected for many years. It worsens, though, as it progresses and can even lead to the development of heart disease.
  • Accelerated Silicosis – it much like chronic silicosis, except that it develops fasters. This type is usually acquired after being exposed to larger amounts of silica dust in a short period of time.
  • Acute Silicosis – this type of lung illness develops and worsens the fastest, with effects, including weight loss, fever, shortness of breath and cough. Respiratory failure is fast, resulting to death one or two years after symptoms appear.

Being made to work in a dangerous environment is one of the major offenses an employer can commit. Though no one may have intended that the worker suffer from a deadly illness, the effects of being exposed to deadly minerals have already progressed and these are irreversible.

The website of Williams Kherkher has information about how those who have suffered workplace injuries may be able to seek compensation. Such compensation that you legally could be a big financial boost to you and your family, for the cost of your medication and the financial losses that you may have suffered, and will still suffer from.

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