A new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has revealed that silicosis, an occupational lung disease, still kills 100 people every year in the United States. Silicosis is caused by the inhalation of crystalline silica dust, affecting workers in construction, quarry, and mining-related jobs. The disease can cause permanent disability and potentially death, so it is important for Ohio workers to know their level of risk.
Silica exposure has led to calls for new national reforms to protect workers from silica dust exposure. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently called for tougher permissible exposure limits. Presently, over two million workers are exposed to silica dust, including workers in Ohio. In some cases, the level of exposure presents a health risk.
Earlier this year in January, OSHA inspectors cited an Ohio foundry for silica dust exposure. Last year in July, nine other foundry employees were exposed to harmful amounts of silica dust. However, the state of Ohio has several industries that might have higher levels of silica dust exposure. Construction workers
who perform concrete dusting and demolition are also at risk for exposure if their employers are not taking necessary safety precautions.
What Happens To Workers Who Develop Silicosis?
Silicosis is a progressive and untreatable occupational lung disease, and symptoms will get worse over time. The condition can develop over decades from minor exposure to silica dust. Symptoms can start as shortness of breath, weakness and weight loss. Over time, the condition can cause significant disability and may become fatal.
Workers with silicosis may have options to pursue workers’ compensation or disability benefits. Contacting a workers’ comp attorney can reveal what benefits are available.
Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC
– Columbus Workers’ Comp Attorneys