Pneumoconiosis is the name of a range of occupational lung diseases including asbestosis, berylliosis, byssinosis, coal worker’s pneumoconiosis and silicosis. In the UK pneumoconiosis is a “notifiable” industrial disease. In other words, if a patient is diagnosed with a form of pneumoconiosis then the doctor is duty bound to inform the patients’ employer of the diagnosis (with the permission of the patient). It is then the duty of the employer to inform the Health and Safety Executive.
The Department of Work and Pensions stipulate that pneumoconiosis conditions are covered by disablement benefit and there is also the option to make a personal injury claim against the employer of a person suffering from pneumoconiosis if it can be proved that the condition was caused as a consequence of their work environment.
See below for specific information on each of the main forms of pneumoconiosis -