Silicosis, Engineered Stone, and NC Workers’ Compensation

Silicosis, Engineered Stone and NC Workers Compensation
By Kimberly BishopOctober 16, 2019

This post discusses Silicosis, Engineered Stone, and NC Workers’ Compensation. If you or someone you care for has been diagnosed with Silicosis in NC after working with engineered stone, read on.

Silicosis and engineered stone have an increasing connection to each other. A recent NPR article into the dangers of silicosis and engineered stone points out the increasing usage of engineered stone in counter-top manufacturing. Currently, workers cutting engineered stones are exposed to much higher levels of silica as engineered stone is 90% silica. A recent study in Australia found that 12% of workers cutting engineered stone had cases of silicosis.

The United States has 100,000 or more workers in this area, and manufacturing and cutting of engineered stone is a growing industry in North Carolina. In addition to making the stone, construction workers who cut the stone to fit into home kitchens/bathrooms may also be at risk.  This means a lot of workers in the state are at risk of be exposed to high amounts of silica and could suffer from the various diseases stemming from that exposure.

Silicosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease are some of the harms that exposure to silica can cause. If you begin to experience shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, chest pain or darkening of the skin (blue discoloration), you should seek medical attention immediately. According to the American Lung Association, Silicosis can be acute, chronic or accelerated.  Silicosis can develop a few weeks to decades after exposure. Prevention is key.

NC workers’ compensation can cover workers that suffer an occupational disease as a part of their job. To underscore the importance of this issue, OSHA regulations require employers to take steps to eliminate or minimize silica related hazards. On October 7, 2019, the House Education and Labor Committee made moves to protect workers from silica exposure.

Exposure to silica at work can have implications for your health and you may have a claim for an occupational disease under NC workers’ compensation. Check with a NC workers’ compensation attorney for what that can mean for your case today.

The Bishop Law Firm represents clients injured on the job in Raleigh, Cary, Durham and surrounding areas of North Carolina. We do not get paid unless we win, and we offer free case evaluations. Call us today, (919) 615-3095.

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