I had my own concrete cutting business when I first discovered the threat of silicosis. Once I knew the magnitude of the disease - and that the lives of my staff were at risk - I decided I had to act or close my business.
I was prepared to give up my livelihood if a better solution could not be found.
After all, you shouldn't ask your workers to do something you are not prepared to do yourself.
Sadly, everyone was just turning a blind eye and just ticking all the boxes and not doing enough about the problem or looking for a genuinely better solution. A trend that continues today.
It's estimated that about half a million workers are exposed to silica dust each year in Australia.
Indeed, silicosis is being called the new asbestosis.
But unlike asbestosis, silicosis does not always take years to form in the body.
In fact, it can take just months, meaning that it is rapidly becoming a young man's disease.
The biggest risk industries are construction, mining, concrete and stone masonry and foundry work.
I have long been frustrated by government, manufacturers and industry bodies for not doing enough.
There is a federal government task force reviewing the situation but it is not due to report back until the end of 2020.
How many more people will be exposed to hazardous levels of silica dust during this time?
Getting the industry to embrace safety and new technology has proven a frustrating journey.
And I feel the government isn't doing enough.
With the spike in recent silicosis cases in Australia, it had no option but to act, and only now has it started.
There's no working together to make a safer working environment between government, big builders in the industry and the workforce.
It baffles me, when safety comes down to the dollar.
Exactly what price do you put on someone's life?
Workers can think that they're safe, but this can be a false sense of security.
I've always felt like we're almost there, and then it takes another five years.
If the industry did the right things, it could be so much different.
No more people need to die.
Guarda Systems' Steve Terpstra is an inventor of a world-first technology that greatly reduces exposure to silica dust.