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Occupational Asthma – Can I Claim?

Approximately 4.3m adults are currently receiving treatment for asthma in the UK but it you developed your asthma from work, or your asthma was aggravated at work, then you could be entitled to receive compensation. Accident Advice Helpline offer free initial advice over the phone or you can try our free claims test online to see if you have a claim to be made and, if so, what it could be worth.

Asthma can be an incredibly serious condition. It is estimated that every ten seconds in the UK someone suffers from a potentially life-threatening asthma attack and around three people die each day. If you believe you have sustained asthma from work or your asthma has got worse since starting your job, find out what your rights are today and call a professional legal advisor today.

How could I get asthma from work?

If you never suffered from asthma previously and but developed asthma from work, it is likely you have become a victim of occupational asthma. You may have been exposed to an irritant at work which has affected your airways. Was there a chemical spillage at your work which could be to blame for your recently diagnosed asthma? You may also have developed asthma from work after exposure to workplace allergens, also known as asthmagens, which can present immediately or can take weeks or even years for symptoms to show.

According to figures from HSE, in 2015 there were around 200 new cases of occupational asthma though these are unlikely to represent the true number of those affected by the condition. Many people suffering from asthma have not been diagnosed or are not connecting their symptoms to their workplace. If you had to see a doctor because you began experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing or coughing and you think your employer could be responsible, we would like to hear from you immediately.

What workplace allergens might I have been exposed to?

Bakers and vehicle sprayers appear to be the professions most affected by asthma from work, according to HSE, though since 2000 there has been a decrease in overall cases. However, you may have been suffering asthma from work after being exposed to any number of the following allergens:

  • Flour dust
  • Agricultural dust
  • Latex
  • Spray paint
  • Animals
  • Metal working fluids
  • Hairdressers’ bleach
  • Rosin based solder flux

The most common causes of occupational asthma are isocyanates, flour and grain. If you have or are currently working with the substances listed above and are exhibiting asthma symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, chest tightness or similar, or you have been diagnosed by a medical professional, you could be awarded a large sum of compensation for your workplace illness. To discuss your options in more detail, contact Accident Advice Helpline.

I already had asthma but my work is aggravating it

Work-related asthma or aggravated work asthma is where an employee already suffered from asthma but the conditions at work have worsened the illness. It is different to occupational asthma but it could still mean that you are entitled to make a claim for compensation if your job has caused your asthma to worsen significantly and put your health at risk. Your pre-existing asthma may have been triggered by working with chemicals such as chlorine or from exposure to cold temperatures or types of dust.

Many people who suffer asthma from work had not suffered an attack or needed to use their inhaler for years but because of the workplace environment, it has suddenly returned with a vengeance. You may have noticed that your asthma improves when you are at home, or specifically, away from work. You should speak to your doctor about your asthma and discuss whether anything at work could be upsetting it.

My manager is not taking my asthma at work seriously

You have the right to feel safe at work so if you are worried about your asthma at work and if you have addressed the issue with your manager but you don’t feel they are taking your condition seriously, you can take the following three steps to make sure you are listened to:

  1. Raise the issue with a person responsible for health and safety in the workplace
  2. Contact your trade union or professional body
  3. Contact your local HSE office

If you have been diagnosed with occupational asthma or aggravated work asthma, you can also speak to an experienced advisor at Accident Advice Helpline. We are a specialised law firm who have helped victims suffering from occupational diseases and illnesses to get the compensation they deserve. We deliver excellent customer care and are recommended by our patron and consumer champion, Dame 1,216 people die each year from asthma in the UK so if your asthma at work began, or was aggravated, because of your workplace, it may be time to get some legal advice. You have up to three years in which to make a claim for compensation but don’t wait until the last minute to make a claim, find out more information by calling our helpline. There is no obligation to make a claim when you call but we can tell you everything you need to know about the claim process.

Asthma from work may have caused you to take time off from work or struggle with your workload. You may have even got into trouble at work for a condition that has been directly caused by your environment. To get answers, justice and possibly even compensation, call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 5659 to hear more about our no win no fee service and how we can help you to make a claim for compensation.