Occupational and work aggravated asthma

7) Occupational asthma FAQs

You have to use flour at the bakery where you work. What protective clothing should you wear?

Face mask, overall, gloves, hair net. This will not totally protect you but it will reduce risk of exposure.

Is your employer responsible for checking and controlling substances which trigger your asthma?

Yes, the legal health regulations for this are known as COSHH Control of Substances Hazardous to Health. Your employer should carry out a risk assessment and prevent or control exposure to irritants. Find out more at the Health and Safety Executive website.

You had asthma as a child but nothing for years but recently your symptoms have returned. Could something at work be making your asthma flare up again?

Possibly. This is known as work aggravated asthma. If there is a specific irritant only present at work you may have Reactive Airway Dysfunction Syndrome or RADS.

My boss isn’t taking my asthma seriously. What can I do?

Discuss with your GP. They should be able to give you a letter which outlines how your asthma can be affected by your work and the precautions you and they can take. If you have an occupational health nurse you could speak to them or a union representative.