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Asbestos and Silica Dust Exposure

Why choose RCT for asbestos or silicosis claims?

There is a lot at stake in choosing the right law firm.

You need someone you can trust to win you the best compensation result with a minimum of fees and expenses while supporting you every step of the way. You need to be comfortable with the values and culture of that firm.

We are one of Australia's leading asbestos and silicosis compensation law firms and a pioneer in asbestos law. One of our founders, Orm Thomas, obtained the first medical tribunal decision on asbestos in 1981, thereby opening the way for litigation on behalf of asbestos disease sufferers.

Ryan Carlisle Thomas has a genuine history of fighting for justice for those with asbestos-related injury and disease. We have won large payouts for hundreds of asbestos sufferers across Australia.

Our asbestos and silicosis lawyers embrace progressive values that place a client’s trust ahead of profit.

We never cut corners, getting the job done properly for your benefit, not ours.

So, when you need to make a stand against the companies and insurance agencies that fight asbestos claims, let us stand with you.

Our record-keeping system

In order to help you, we operate a record-keeping service.

This ensures that your records aer kept confidential and safe in case you ever have to access them or make an asbestos or silicosis-related claim. This applies equally to family members who may have lived with someone who worked in an asbestos-prone industry.

Please let us know if you would like to have us collect and retain this information for you by calling us on 03 9238 7878.

As employers will contest claims to compensation, it is important that you keep records that can be used by our legal team.

Asbestos claims

Asbestos exposure: In the workplace, building sites, or renovations

Asbestos is most commonly found in building products such as cement pipes, insulation, floor tiles, adhesives, roofing, brake pads, textiles and textured paints.

Exposure to asbestos can occur in any number of situations. The classic examples, of course, have occurred where people are working directly in the asbestos industry, in asbestos mines, or in the downstream processing of asbestos into building materials, such as the notorious James Hardie case.

But equally, there are any number of circumstances under which anyone who is in the workforce may be exposed to asbestos. Most common are building sites, where health and safety precautions have been neglected and workers come into contact with asbestos fibres released as a result of renovations or building demolitions.

While exposure to asbestos fibres is more likely to put at risk people working directly with the material, there are circumstances under which people who are working nearby, perhaps in an office in which the windows are open, are also exposed to dust particles carried in the air. There is no safe limit of exposure to asbestos because just a single fibre of this deadly material has the capacity to cause acute diseases.

What are my legal rights?

Legal action for asbestos-related diseases may be brought against:

  • Manufacturers of asbestos products
  • Employers
  • Occupiers of premises that have allowed asbestos products to be used.

What if I am a smoker?

It doesn't matter. Smoking neither exacerbates nor causes asbestos diseases. You are still entitled to compensation.

What if my employer has gone out of business?

You can still make a claim against the former employer's insurance company.

Have you been exposed?

The deadly occupations are:

  • Mining or milling asbestos
  • Manufacturing raw asbestos
  • Building and lagging work that uses asbestos
  • Residents in close proximity to asbestos industries
  • Carers and family members of anyone who worked in the asbestos industry

Asbestosis and asbestos related pleural diseases

Breathing in airborne asbestos fibres can result in a number of asbestos-related diseases and occur if you are exposed to asbestos which has been damaged, demolished or removed.

Asbestosis is a lung disease which is caused by breathing in asbestos fibres which scar the lung. Asbestosis causes scarring of the lung tissue which can make it very difficult to breathe.

If you are concerned that you have been exposed to asbestos and have difficulty breathing, it is important to consult your GP immediately.

Mesothelioma

According to the Cancer Council of Australia, mesothelioma is a cancer that starts in the membrane that covers the lungs. Mesothelioma involves the lining of the lungs, distinguishing it from a lung cancer.

The only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma can take many years to develop and symptoms include shortness of breath, chest, shoulder and upper arm pain, loss of appetite, persistent coughing, and heavy sweating.

If you are concerned that you have been exposed to asbestos and have any of these symptoms it is important to consult your GP immediately.

Lung cancer

Asbestos exposure can also cause lung cancer. Lung cancer is the fifth most common cancer diagnosed in Australia and is responsible for almost 1 in 5 cancer deaths in Australia.

There are different kinds of lung cancer, and symptoms include shortness of breath and wheezing, chest pain, coughing or spitting blood, a new cough that doesn’t go away, recurring bronchitis or pneumonia, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss and fatigue.

If you are concerned that you have been exposed to asbestos and have any of these symptoms it is important to consult your GP immediately.

Silicosis and other dust diseases

Silica is a material found in sand, stones, gravel and clay used in construction materials like bricks, tiles and concrete. Miners and excavators, constructions workers, farmers and engineers are all at a greater risk of exposure to silica dust.

Approximately 587,000 workers were exposed to silica dust in Australia in 2011.

Silica dust is toxic if inhaled and can cause fatal diseases such as silicosis (a disease which involves scarring of the lungs) and lung cancer.

If you are concerned that you have been exposed to silica and show symptoms such as difficulty breathing, it is important to consult your GP immediately.

Home construction and DIY projects

Completing a home renovation can be dangerous if you are exposed to deadly asbestos fibres.

Approximately one in three homes in Australia contain asbestos products. If your home was built before 1990, it is likely that it would have some asbestos materials. We know that James Hardie manufactured and produced products containing asbestos until 1987. These or other asbestos-related products may have been installed in your home during its construction.

We are now seeing a number of cases where asbestos-related disease has come about as a result of a home renovation project. In these cases, it may be possible to bring legal action against the manufacturer of the asbestos products that caused the disease.

If you are thinking about renovating your home, it is important that you arrange an asbestos inspection by contacting the Australian Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.

Starting a legal enquiry with us - first steps and fees

For information on how to contact Ryan Carlisle Thomas, fees, and what to expect at your first meeting, click here.

Call 1300 366 441 or find us at an office near you for advice on Asbestos claims, or to recieve one of our Asbestos Exposure Records to fill in and email or fax back to us. Remember to keep a copy for your own records.

What Our Clients Say About Us

Fantastic Lawyers, very supportive and caring throughout the whole divorce process.

Marilyn, Seabrook

Call 1300 366 441 to be connected to your nearest office, find an office near you on our office locations map, or email us using the form below and we will contact you on the same or next business day.

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