HSE eBulletin: World Asthma Day - consider the risks of occupational asthma

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HSE eBulletin

Consider the risks of occupational asthma before it's too late

Today is World Asthma Day and HSE is highlighting the risks of occupational asthma and the devastating impact occupational lung disease has on workers’ lives and their families.


Occupational lung diseases and their symptoms ruin lives, but are preventable if the correct control measures are in place and maintained effectively.   


The risk of life-threatening occupational lung disease is higher for some types of work. Exposure to certain dusts, gases, fumes and vapours in the workplace can cause irreversible lung damage if the risks are not effectively managed and controlled.


HSE's website has guidance and advice to help employers fulfil their legal duty to protect their workers’ health and prevent work-related lung disease.


Wood dust and occupational lung disease

If woodwork is not planned correctly, there are risks to workers' health and safety. This includes the inhalation of wood dust that can cause occupational asthma and, in the case of hardwoods, sinonasal cancer.


The woodworking industry is currently being targeted as part of a year-long inspection programme across Great Britain.


HSE is inspecting woodworking businesses to ensure dutyholders know the established health risks associated with woodworking, including wood dust, and have effective controls in place to keep workers safe and protect their respiratory health.


We encourage all businesses to review our refreshed woodworking guidance to ensure you are managing the risks.


HSE's website has a range of resources, including case studies and top tips for woodworking:


Follow HSE's social media channels on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for updates on our targeted woodworking inspection programme.

Get latest news and updates from HSE across a range of industries and topics by subscribing to our eBulletins here.

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