Poor ventilation at work leads to lung disease

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Poor ventilation at work leads to lung disease

12th February 2010

The danger of poor workplace ventilation was reiterated this week when a stonemasons was fined £30,000 after two employees developed a lung disease caused by exposure to uncontrolled levels of crystalline silica.

William Anelay Limited, of Osbaldwick, has also been instructed by the Health and Safety Executive to take proper safety precautions after workers were exposed to dangerous levels of crystalline silica - caused by dry stone carving without proper extraction ventilation or use of protective equipment.

One of the victims has been forced into early retirement as a result of his difficulties, while the other is now unable to work as a stonemason.

Bridget Collier, an industrial disease specialist at Fentons Solicitors, said crystalline silica dust was known to damage the lungs. "Exposure to high levels of the dust can result in silicosis," she said. "It is a debilitating lung condition which causes extreme shortness of breath, fatigue and in some cases total respiratory malfunction."

She said there are many professions that can expose employees to silica including mining, sandblasting, foundry working, grinding and stonecutting.

"All employers have a duty to ensure that their employees are working in a safe environment, free of dangers such as these," Bridget said. "These men have had their lives irrevocably altered because their employer failed to follow the correct safety procedures."

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of industrial illness. If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Source - IOSH