Asthma can be caused in a workplace simply by breathing in
certain dusts, gases, fumes and vapours that can damage your
damage. Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough and wheezing.
It is important to be able to identify those with occupational
asthma and what controls are required to reduce exposure.
Employers have a legal duty to make arrangements to ensure
employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken
ill at work. It does not matter whether the injury or illness is
caused by the work they do (The
Health and Safety [First-Aid] Regulations 1981). First aid at
work does not include giving tablets or medicines to treat illness.
If an employee needs to take their inhaler during an asthma attack,
the first-aiders or appointed persons role is limited to helping
them and contacting the emergency services as appropriate.
An asthma attack at work can cause both the indiviudal and their
colleagues distress. Information on what an employee should do
if they experience an asthma attack at work can be found
here. Furthermore there is a flow diagram that is available to
download that contains step by step
Information for healthcare professionals: In
2007 the Standard of Care for Occupational Asthma was
produced. This article is intended to give guidance to all
healthcare professionals dealing with workers exposed to agents
that potentially cause asthma, and was designed specifically for
this purpose in collaboration with the British Thoracic Society
(BTS) Standards of Care Committee. Mindful of the fact that
managing patients in practice is very different from the way it
appears in guidelines, this article serves primarily to inform
readers of the recent evidence base and translate this into
The following is a video case study describing the
personal impact of occupational asthma.
Further information on easy steps to control health risks
related to exposure can be found by visiting the COSHH Essentials website.
HSE has produced guidance on how to control hazardous substances
at work in the leaflet, Working With Substances Hazardous to Health
Do you know that benefits are available to those living
with lung disease? Please click here
for further information.
For further information on first aid at work requirements, click here. You can also download the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981