Every year many Britons develop occupational asthma after being exposed to hazardous or dangerous substances at work.
Occupational asthma refers solely to asthmatic symptoms that develop at their place of work after coming into contact with a substance known as a respiratory sensitiser. The development of symptoms can take weeks, months or even years depending on the person and the level of exposure to the substance. Occupational asthma is a leading cause of accident at work claims.
Continuing to work with occupational asthma
It is important to avoid any contact with the respiratory sensitiser that has caused occupational asthma, however it may possible to continue working in the short term with the right protection. In the long term, you will need to discuss with your employer whether it is possible to be employed in another capacity that avoids coming into contact with the respiratory sensitiser. Most employers will try and help you as much as possible.
However, if it is not possible to find safe work within your current occupation then you may need to find employment in another profession or sector.
Having occupational asthma will not render you totally unfit to work, it will just mean that you will need to find an occupation that does not involve you coming into contact with the allergen that causes occupational asthma.
Making a claim for compensation after developing occupational asthma
As a rule of health and safety, your employer is legally required to carry out a risk assessment in accordance with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994 (COSHH). You should be notified of any risks of occupational asthma and told how to recognise early symptoms. If your employer fails to consult with you or alert you to potential risks of occupational asthma, you could be entitled to make a claim for work accident compensation.
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Date Published: February 27, 2015
Author: Accident Advice