Tue 17 Dec 2019

Understanding the risk of silicosis

By Gallagher Insurance & Risk Management Tasmania

As part of our on-going commitment to the CCF in Tasmania, we draw to our attention a growing threat / trend in the Construction Industry (Silicosis what you need to know to protect your people and your business)

Silicosis has become a bigger work safety concern than asbestosis. We look at the types of materials that present a risk, who it affects, how Australian regulators and the insurance sector are responding to the emerging threat and what you need to know now. The new dust disease risk Silicosis is an aggressive and untreatable form of lung disease that comes from breathing in silica dust, which is in materials such as concrete, bricks, tiles, sandstone, granite and manufactured stone. The most common form of the disease can take upwards of 10 years to appear after exposure to low or moderate amounts of silica. Symptoms may be mild at first, and slowly but progressively become worse.

If you work in mining, glass manufacturing, road repair, sandblasting, masonry, roofing, stone cutting or construction, you’re at risk. Manufactured stone has enjoyed widespread popularity and use in the recent building boom. It is the preferred material for kitchen benchtops and in high demand for renovations. All this adds up to high exposure in large numbers for stonemasons and related trades, pointing to a worse than asbestosis epidemic in the making.

Products containing silica include

  • manufactured solid stone products such as composite (engineered) stone benchtops
  • asphalt
  • cement, mortar and grout
  • concrete, concrete blocks and fibre cement products
  • brick
  • drywall and some plasterboards, and
  • pavers and tiles including roof tiles.

Do you understand the silicosis risk? Speak to the CCF & Gallagher to better understand the risks and how to manage these.

Season’s Greetings

From all of our families, to all of yours, have a great Christmas!