If you have been diagnosed with silicosis, or another condition caused by exposure to silica dust at work, Thompsons Solicitors can help. Our industrial disease lawyers have helped thousands of people secure compensation and support for work-related illnesses.

You can claim on a no win, no fee basis, so you won’t have to pay any legal fees unless your claim is successful. Call us on 0800 0 224 224 or complete our short enquiry form for free, no obligation legal advice about your case.

What is silicosis?

Silicosis is an incurable occupational respiratory disease which occurs by inhaling silica dust, usually over a period of 20 years or more.

Silica is a substance found in certain types of stone, clay, sand and rock.


Can I claim for silicosis compensation?

If you have been exposed to silica dust in the workplace you may be able to claim compensation if you later develop silicosis.

Employers have a duty of care to their employees. That duty of care includes protecting workers from being harmed through exposure to silica dust.

If you work in an environment where you may be exposed to silica dust, it is essential that your employer supplies you with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and takes measures to reduce exposure to harmful particles.

If your employer did not take adequate measures to protect you from the harmful effects of being exposed to silica dust, and you developed silicosis as a result, they failed in their duty of care and were negligent.

man carving

How much compensation will I get for a silicosis claim?

The amount of compensation you can receive for a silicosis compensation claim is usually over £10,000, but could be significantly more depending on the extent of your symptoms and any financial losses you have incurred due to the condition.

The amount is based on the following factors:

  • Current and future loss of earnings
  • Medical and travel expenses you've had to pay
  • Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
  • Mobility aids
  • Modifications to your home
  • Your pain and suffering.

As silicosis is an ongoing disease we can often secure damages on a provisional basis. This means you are awarded a sum based on how silicosis is currently affecting your life, but you have the right to return to court and request further compensation if your condition deteriorates.

Silicosis compensation amounts

Our solicitors have an unrivalled record of claiming substantial awards of damages for our clients, including:

  • £95,000 in provisional damages for a 65-year-old setting and drawing operative who was substantially disabled by his condition.
  • £30,000 for a 36-year-old stonemason who developed silicosis as a result of breathing in dust in the course of his employment renovating and restoring sandstone.


How long does the silicosis claim process take?

The time needed to settle a silicosis claim can vary significantly. It can take up to three years, but may take longer depending on whether the defendant admits liability and the extent of your symptoms and treatment. 

You will usually receive your compensation within 28 days from the date of settlement.


What are the time limits for a silicosis claim?

There are strict time limits for making a silicosis compensation claim. You usually have three years from the date you first become aware of the illness to make a claim. This tends to be the date you were diagnosed with silicosis.

man looking at lungs x-ray

Can I make a silicosis claim on behalf of someone else?

Most people are aware that they can make a personal injury claim if they suffer an injury that was not their fault.

However, some people may not be aware that they can claim compensation on behalf of someone else if the person affected cannot do so due to age, lack of mental capacity, or even death.

When you make a claim with Thompsons, you can also appoint a family member to manage your case on your behalf.



How do I make a silicosis compensation claim?

If you’ve been diagnosed with the disease, there are different routes to compensation:

  • Make a civil claim for compensation. One of our specialist silicosis lawyers can help you understand this process.
  • Make a claim for industrial disablement benefit. You're entitled to receive the benefit if you have developed silicosis after being exposed to silica at work. However, it’s important to bear in mind that you will not qualify for the claim if you were self-employed when you were exposed.
  • Claim a lump sum of compensation under the Workers Compensation Act 1979. A claim for compensation under this Act is available to anyone with silicosis or a dependent whose loved one has died of silicosis.

You can make all three types of claim, but money received through industrial disablement benefit or the Workers Compensation Act will be deducted from any compensation awarded in a civil claim.

To start your civil claim, request a call back from our industrial disease lawyers or call us on 0800 0 224 224.


Why choose Thompsons’ industrial disease solicitors?

Silicosis claims are quite a specialised area of the law, so it is important to choose a solicitor with extensive experience and a proven track record of securing successful claims.

Thompsons employs specialist silicosis solicitors who are an integral part of our industrial disease team. They understand the impact that a silicosis diagnosis can have, and will treat you with kindness and compassion throughout the claims process.

We’re the UK’s leading social justice law firm, only ever representing workers and never employers, so you can be sure we are fully on your side.

Contact us on 0800 0 224 224 or complete our online form here to start your silicosis compensation claim.


Who is at risk of developing silicosis?

Silicosis is caused by exposure to silica dust.

Exposure to silica dust is most commonly associated with the following industries:

  • Mining
  • Quarrying
  • Construction
  • Pottery
  • Masonry
  • Demolition
  • Sandblasting
  • Manufacture of glass and metal products.


Types of silicosis

Chronic silicosis

Chronic silicosis usually results from long-term exposure to low levels of silica dust, and is the most common type of the disease. It can take between 10 and 30 years (usually more than 20) for chronic silicosis to develop.

Accelerated silicosis

Accelerated silicosis usually develops five to 10 years after short-term exposure to high levels of silica dusts. People who suffer from this type of silicosis may be prone to developing more severe symptoms in the future.

Acute silicosis

Acute silicosis is the rarest type of the disease and sufferers will have usually been exposed to high concentrations of silica dust. Acute silicosis can develop just a few weeks after exposure, and in some cases can be fatal. 


Signs and symptoms of silicosis

Once silica dust particles are inhaled, they can embed themselves in the lining of the lung, causing inflammation and scarring, and eventually damage which can stop the lungs from working properly. Silicosis symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Wheezing
  • Swollen fingers.

It is important to ensure that following your diagnosis you are not exposed to further silica dust. If you smoke, you should also look to stop as smoking is likely to aggravate your condition.

Diagnosis and treatment

is important to get checked out by your GP. An x-ray, CT scan or lung function test will help your doctor to establish whether you have silicosis.

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for silicosis, however there are treatments available to help relieve symptoms. Antibiotics and vaccinations may also be offered to help protect you from developing chest infections.


tools machinery


Can I claim for other conditions caused by exposure to silica dust?

Exposure to silica dust has been linked to a range of respiratory conditions, including COPD and lung cancer.

If you have been diagnosed with any type of respiratory condition following exposure to silica dust, you may be eligible for compensation. Our lawyers will be able to advise – call us on 0800 0 224 224 or request a call back for free, no-obligation legal advice.