Some California workers face various risks every time they show up for work. From using power tools to slip-and-fall accidents, there are many ways that a person could suffer an injury in the workplace. Just as dangerous are the environment hazards that may eventually lead to pain, suffering and serious illness, even decades in the future. 

Silica exposure is a potential hazard for individuals who work in a wide range of industries, but many of these workers are unaware of the danger or impact on their health until years later. Silica dust can cause serious problems, and if you believe that you are a victim, you may find it beneficial to know how to protect your rights and financial interests.

Who is vulnerable?

Silica dust exposure is more common than you may think. Estimates suggest that as many as 2.3 million workers may have some exposure to silica dust. Awareness and safety measures can prevent unnecessary exposure and potential future illnesses. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, some of the jobs most often connected with this type of hazardous exposure include:

  • Construction
  • Glass manufacturing
  • Pottery
  • Concrete workers
  • Dental labs
  • Railroad maintenance
  • Maritime work
  • General manufacturing

These are just some of the many jobs and industries that could carry a higher risk of dangerous exposure for workers. You may find it beneficial to further explore if you are at risk in your work environment, as well as your right to recovery in case of illness.

Why is it so dangerous?

One of the main reasons that silica dust is so dangerous is because one may not know the effects of it until years or decades later. The danger comes when very small particles are inhaled, some penetrating deep into the lungs. This can eventually cause very serious or fatal diseases, including silicosis, lung cancer and kidney disease.

What happens if I get sick?

If you become sick due to any type of dangerous exposure in the workplace, you have the right to financial compensation for medical expenses and other financial losses. It is important to secure workers’ compensation benefits, but you would be wise to first seek the help of an experienced attorney. Even if you need to file a claim years later, you have the right to fight for treatment and other recovery needs.

When you turn to an experienced legal ally after silica dust exposure or diagnosis of a related illness, you can focus on other important matters while he or she navigates the complex workers’ compensation claims system on your behalf.