Occupational asthma refers solely to asthmatic symptoms that have developed as the result of exposure to gases, dust and fumes at work.
According to statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive, instances of asthma at work are on the decrease. Still, new cases appear every year, with 177 new cases reported in 2013, and are a common source of accident at work compensation claims.
Those most exposed to the risks of asthma at work include bakery workers and tobacco factory workers, and it’s important for these employees to be able to spot the signs of occupational asthma.
The gases, dust and fumes at work are collectively known as a respiratory sensitizer when referred to in the cases of occupational asthma. These substances irritate the airways in the lungs, making them tight and can also cause swelling.
This can produce a number of symptoms including tightness in the chest, wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing.
How long does it take for the symptoms to develop?
The symptoms of occupational asthma might not manifest themselves immediately. In fact, the symptoms can occur even years after exposure to a respiratory sensitizer.
Occupational asthma can also develop after a single exposure to a high concentration of a respiratory sensitiser.
How can occupational asthma be treated?
If you have developed occupational ailment then it’s important to avoid any exposure to respiratory sensitisers that may trigger your symptoms.
It is possible to continue working in the short-term if provided with the correct safety equipment; however, this can be expensive for an employer. Most employers will try and find an alternative occupation for you within the company, which doesn’t require exposure to the irritants which trigger your symptoms.
Your doctor may prescribe asthma drugs, such as an inhaler or steroids, in order to reduce your symptoms.
Can I make a claim for occupational asthma?
With Accident Advice Helpline, we can help you to make a claim for compensation when your health and safety has been adversely affected by occupational asthma, provided this has been within the last three years and has occurred through no fault of your own.
We are a law firm that specialises in all areas of personal injury compensation, including claims for accidents in the workplace. All claims are made on 100 per cent no-win no-fee* basis, so you won’t be out of pocket should your claim for compensation be unsuccessful.
Give us a call today on 0800 689 0500 to speak to one of our advisers.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice