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What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the airways and makes breathing difficult, or in some cases almost impossible. The disease causes an inflammation of the airways which lead to and from the lungs carrying oxygen to the body; if these are constricted causing the airflow to the lungs to be reduced, it can cause coughing, breathlessness and a tight feeling within the chest.

What is occupational asthma?

Asthma is commonly found during childhood and some people eventually grow out of it, however in some cases asthma does not appear until adulthood, and in these cases it is worth looking into how it has been caused. In some cases asthma is caused by allergens which are found in the workplace; this is referred to as occupational asthma.

Who is highest risk?

The following occupations carry a particularly high risk for the development of occupational asthma:

  • Welders and solderers
  • Vehicle spray painters
  • Woodworkers
  • Healthcare workers
  • Bakers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Laboratory Animal workers

If your occupation does not feature within the list, it does not mean that you are out of danger; any occupation in which you could be exposed to dust, pollens, smoke or any other irritant or allergen increases the risk of the development of occupational asthma or other pulmonary conditions.

Advice for employers

To minimise the risk of employees developing occupational asthma, or any other pulmonary condition, employers must use suitable safeguards to protect their workers. A huge range of advice is available from the Health and Safety Executive featuring information regarding COSHH and health surveillance to monitor the long term health of employees.

What if you suffer from occupational Asthma?

If you or someone you care for suffers from occupational asthma, or any other work-related lung condition, you could well be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Employers have a duty of care to protect the health and welfare of their workforce, and ensuring that the air they breathe is safe is a fundamental part of that duty. If it can be proved that your employer failed to protect your health while you were in their employment, then they should help you deal with the outcome. Contact us today, free of charge, for a no-obligations discussion about your case, and let us see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.