Asthma is a very serious health problem that can ruin lives. Occupational asthma is an allergic reaction that can occur in some people when they are exposed to certain substances in their workplace. These substances are called ‘respiratory sensitisers’ or asthmagens. They damage a person’s lungs by causing a change in their airways. This is known as the ‘hypersensitive state’.
Typical symptoms are shortness of breath, wheezing and painful coughing. The first symptoms may not develop until several weeks or months after the initial exposure. Symptoms normally improve when the sufferer is away from the workplace and often disappear completely if the employee leaves the job.
There is a long a list of substances that can cause occupational asthma, which includes:
- Laboratory animals
Occupations most at risk of occupational asthma are:
- Vehicle spray painter
- Healthcare worker
- Laboratory animal worker
- Agriculture worker
- Engineering worker
Employers can and should protect employees from exposure to these potential asthma irritants. They must assess the risk of exposure to chemicals (by breathing in, skin contact or swallowing).
Treanors Solicitors are based in Sunderland. We are working on occupational asthma claims for clients throughout Tyne and Wear and the whole of the North East UK. Local experts ready to advise you.