World Asthma Day – How much do you know about Occupational Asthma?
The 3rd May 2016 was ‘World Asthma Day’, the day helps to promote the causes and effects of asthma. How much do you know about occupational asthma?
Asthma is a common condition which can affect a range of different people from the young to the elderly, however, the symptoms of asthma are all different. The symptoms can range from mild to sometimes severe and can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Itchy throat
- Tightness of chest
Across the UK, there is an estimated 1 in 11 people who unfortunately either suffer from asthma or have asthma related symptoms. Of those individuals suffering from asthma, 1 in 10 have stated their condition was caused by work. There are certain jobs where employees are more prone to developing asthma or having their existing condition made worse. The individuals whom hold these roles are more susceptible to developing asthma with 10% of them developing occupational asthma.
What are the high risk occupations for asthma?
Below is a list of jobs and industries considered high risk according to Asthma UK because the roles are known to have caused people to develop asthma or aggravated a pre-existing condition.
- Working with animals
- Health Services
Unfortunately, many people are unaware that the irritants and substances that they work with or have worked with in the past has caused or aggravated their breathing problems. Therefore, it is likely the amount of people who suffer from occupational asthma could be higher than what is currently recorded.
How can we reduce incidents of occupational asthma?
Under the Control of Substances Hazard to Health (COSHH) 2002 Regulations, employers have a duty to protect their employers and reduce their risk from contracting asthma or aggravating an existing condition. Employers minimize the risk of injury to their employees by –
- Carrying out risk assessments
- Attempting to reduce the amount of exposure to the substance causing the symptoms
- Providing adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks or ventilation
- Providing training and awareness to employees of the hazards of exposure to substances
- Monitoring the use of Personal Protective Equipment and the substances that may cause symptoms
If you have developed occupational asthma because of the work you do it would be advised to contact your GP about the symptoms and make your employer aware as they may be able to put measures in place to protect you from aggravating your condition further.
World Asthma Day is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma to improve awareness and care of asthma around the world. Unless you are affected by asthma directly it can be hard to understand how serious the condition can be. Roberts Jackson are always trying to find new ways of promoting the awareness of asthma and highlight the dangers that can arise from working around specific substances that can cause the condition.
Roberts Jackson Solicitors are experts in dealing with occupational asthma cases with a team of solicitors and fee earners, who have a vast amount of experience. If you would like to see if you are eligible to make a claim for occupational asthma please feel free to get in touch using our Freephone number 0800 001 4496 or alternatively you can fill one of our contact forms found on the right hand side of this page. We provide a No Win No Fee service, one of our advisors will call you back at a time convenient for you.