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Worker cutting stone with a grinder surrounded by silicosis causing dust

Easier and faster access to WorkCover Entitlements for those workers exposed to Silica

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Please note that this post was written for Victorian audiences and the information within may not apply to other regions.

If you are or were exposed to respirable silica dust at work and have been diagnosed with silicosis with or without lung cancer and/or scleroderma you may be automatically entitled to WorkCover entitlements.

Two new diseases, lung cancer with silicosis and scleroderma with silicosis, have recently been added to Victoria’s list of proclaimed diseases. This means where a worker is or was exposed to silica dust at work in connection with manufacturing or other processes involving exposure to the inhalation of silica dust and has been diagnosed with either of these newly listed diseases, these diseases will now be automatically deemed to have been caused by the nature of the worker’s employment unless WorkSafe or a self-insurer proves that the disease was not due to employment.

Previously the list of proclaimed diseases included ‘silicosis with or without pulmonary tuberculosis’, where the worker has been engaged in any manufacturing or other processes involving exposure to the inhalation of silica dust. Workers or their dependants may retrospectively submit a new claim for these diseases suffered since Victoria’s workplace injury compensation scheme commenced in 1985.

If you think you might be at risk or have been exposed to silica during the course of your employment, our expert Silicosis team will sit down with you and advise you of your rights and the best possible legal path for you to take. Contact us today for an obligation free appointment.

WorkSafe update

Government update