Occupational asthma is caused by long term exposure to certain chemicals and substances known collectively as asthmagens. When inhaled into the lungs over time, whether over a period of weeks, months or decades, these substances can cause occupational asthma symptoms, which can worsen if the exposure continues.
Common warning signs of Occupational Asthma Symptoms
If you work with any respiratory sensitisers and think that you are suffering from occupational asthma, we recommend that you look out for the following warning signs:
- Feeling breathless: Having trouble breathing is a traumatic and stressful occupational asthma symptom. As your airways narrow and excessive phlegm is produced when exposed to the trigger, it can become difficult to get air in and out of the body.
- Chest pressure: When your lungs become sensitive to a substance, this can lead to inflammation, where the airways tighten. This can cause you to feel tightness in the chest, and can also lead to asthma attacks and long term respiratory problems.
- Coughing at night: You may find that you are wheezing during the day and coughing at night without any trigger. Suffering from breathing difficulties in the early morning hours can be problematic for occupational asthma sufferers, as it can lead to interrupted sleep and fatigue.
Other occupational asthma symptoms include nasal congestion, a runny nose (rhinorrhea) and eye irritation.
What has caused your symptoms?
Occupational asthma is caused by long term exposure to chemicals and substances. Occupational asthma can develop in a number of workplaces, and stem from inhaling air-borne pollutants such as smoke, dust, chemicals and fumes. Respiratory viruses including colds and the flu along with climatic extremes and allergens such as mould, pollen and animal dander can also cause the condition. Please note that breathing in other substances can lead to the respiratory disease.
Poor ventilation and a lack of adequate safety precautions in environments where asthmagens are present can leave you at a greater risk of developing the condition. Your employer has a duty of care and should protect your health and safety while at work. If they have failed to do so, and this has caused you to suffer from occupational asthma symptoms, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.
What should be your next step?
If you believe that you are suffering from the symptoms of occupational asthma, Roberts Jackson recommends that you complete the following steps:
- Make a medical appointment: Get an official diagnosis and access to any medical treatment that you require. Your doctor should also be able to help you determine the cause of your occupational asthma, and offer advice on the possibility of returning to work.
- Inform your employer: Make your employer fully aware of your symptoms so that they can perform an additional risk assessment and implement any further health and safety measures needed. This will help to prevent your symptoms from worsening if you do return to work, and help to protect other employees from suffering from the breathing condition.
- Claim for compensation: If your employer fails to adequately protect your health, even after you have informed them of your occupational asthma symptoms, Roberts Jackson can help you to pursue a claim and secure you the compensation that you deserve.
Contact us for a free initial consultation
If you believe that you are suffering from occupational asthma symptoms or already have an official diagnosis, get in contact with Roberts Jackson on 0800 001 4496.
Our expert solicitors will be able to provide you with all the legal help and support that you require and if it is in your best interests, pursue a claim for compensation on your behalf.
For additional information on Occupational Asthma please use the links below.