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Occupational health and safety news and guidance

Blog posts : "asthma"

On the lookout for occupational asthma

11-04-2017

Photo shows an inhaler

People who develop asthma because of the type of work they do have what's known as occupational asthma. It's actually referred to as adult-onset asthma and accounts for up to 15% of asthma cases in adults. What's more, it's believed that in certain industries, as many as 10% of workers develop occupational asthma.

That's a lot of people being struck down by a condition that can be distressing and debilitating for them, and costly for their employers. Already, the UK has one of the worst instances of worker absence in the world due to illness. A study by accountancy firm PwC found that employees in the UK take as much as four times more absence annually because of sickness, compared to other countries. That’s an average absence of 9.1 days and it costs companies £29 billion a year.

Clearly, employers are not only legally and duty bound to provide a safe working environment for their personnel, but they also want to reduce the possibility of any kind of illness that may lead to days off and loss of productivity. With occupational asthma, some sectors are inherently more hazardous than others, such as the chemical and paint industries, where workers are exposed to dangero…

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