Asthma control at work

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Asthma control at workOn 1 Nov 2000 in Personnel Today Sainsbury’s details surveillance system to prevent the development ofoccupational asthmaThe control of occupational asthma within a retail environment was the themeof a fascinating presentation by Jo Berriman, group occupational health managerat Sainsbury’s. Sainsbury’s employs 5,500 bakery workers in its 445 stores which havebakeries so the health hazards arising from the bakery operation are ofparticular concern. The three most serious of these are work-related asthma,occupational rhinitis and occupational asthma. These arise from various sourcesincluding skin contamination and the inhalation of airborne dust. In 1999 31 bakers in the UK were reported to have contracted occupationalasthma. The clinical features of the disease are that it often develops afteran initial symptom-free period of exposure; episodic lower respiratory symptomsoccur in association with periods at work and it is usually accompanied byrhinitis. Diagnosis is achieved in a five-step process: a history is taken; lungfunction tests are carried out; skin prick tests reveal reaction to a causalagent; blood testing shows if there is a positive IgE; and lastly inhalationtests can be carried out if necessary. Sainsbury’s has initiated a thorough health surveillance programme to preventthe development of occupational asthma and to identify bakery workers whoexhibit symptoms. It has identified a number of workers who have developed the disease andwill be discussing redeployment opportunities with them as well as implementingpreventative measures in the workplace. Related posts:No related photos.last_img

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