Occupational asthma is a disease categorised by breathing problems or chest tightness caused by substances that you may come across at work.
The condition can take weeks, months or even years to develop, depending on the person and the substance.
The symptoms of asthma include attacks of coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightening around the chest. Some sufferers become so debilitated that they cannot work again.
Developing a sensitivity to dust or a chemical is the most common cause of occupational asthma. Numerous substances used in the workplace can trigger allergic reactions including wood dust and flour and grain. There are over 200 other respiratory sensitisers and more are being identified all the time. Occupational asthma tends to improve over the weekend and holidays, when the sufferer is away from the workplace. Symptoms generally become worse during the week, at work, or after work.
If you have been diagnosed as suffering from occupational asthma or believe that you may have occupational asthma, it is important that you tell your Union representative immediately and that you seek the advice of your GP.
There are very strict time limits that apply and it is therefore important that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. Generally you have 3 years from the date that you are either aware or ought to be aware that you are suffering from a work related illness within which to either settle your case or start a Court case otherwise your claim will be legally too old to pursue further.
If you believe that you are suffering or know of anyone who may be suffering from occupational asthma, please call us for free legal advice on 0800 526 368 or email us.
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