Pearce Shepherd and Andrew Webster collaborated in 1957 on Selection of Risks, an introductory book on the theory of the insurance risk selection process. Andrew Webster specialized in risk selection through most of his career. From 1941 until his retirement in 1968, Webster was employed at Mutual of New York.
In the chapter titled, “Understanding Occupational Hazards,” are the following excerpts:
“Health Hazards. Some health hazards arise from our complex industrial civilization with its continuing development of new products and processes. Many of the most injurious poisons, such as lead poisoning, were known to early civilization. The hazards in the dusty trades were recognized centuries ago...”
“Dusts. Dust is one of the most important health hazards. Dusts are classified as organic arising from substances of animal and plant origin, or inorganic arising from metals and minerals. In general dusts give rise to respiratory infections and frequently result in increased mortality from lung ailments. Inorganic dusts may contain free silica giving rise to silicosis. Workers in mines, stone mills and the abrasive industry are exposed to this hazard. Diseases of the lungs due to dust are called pneumoconiosis. Siderosis from iron dusts, anthracosis from anthracite coal dust, and silicosis from stone dust are specific forms of pneumoconiosis.”
A summary of dust disease is in Chapter 2 which is titled, “Understanding the Physical Risk”:
“Pneumoconiosis. Occupations requiring work in a dusty atmosphere lead to lung changes as a result of irritation and accumulation of dust particles in the lungs. The system tries to filter the air and coughing is an attempt to rid the system of unwanted matter, but exposure for a long time overcomes these protections. Some dusts simply clog the lungs and air and lymph passages; others cause fibrosis by mild irritation; still others, notably silica dusts, set up extreme irritation. Tubercle bacilli find it easier to invade and develop in lungs that are irritated and it is not surprising that the death rate from this cause is higher among dusty occupations. Even without tuberculosis, silicosis is serious because it destroys the lung tissue and leads to shortness of breath, heart strain and reduced reserve capacity if any acute infection strikes.”