What industrial diseases may I be likely to develop in my workplace?

If you work in an environment that may have an impact on the condition of your skin or lungs, then you should always be provided with the correct protective equipment. Figures collected by the health and safety executive in 2019 showed that 1.4 million workers are currently suffering from work-related ill health that is both new and long-standing. Additionally, 12,000 lung disease deaths each year are estimated to be linked to past exposures at work. If you are suffering from breathing difficulties or problems with your skin because of work, then it is important to know that you can seek support and advice from experienced solicitors.

What is work related dermatitis?

Work related dermatitis is when the skin becomes inflamed primarily because of contact with hazardous substances that may exist in your workplace. It is not a contagious skin condition, so it cannot be spread between workers or on to people that you live with. In most cases, work related dermatitis is only found on the hands as they are the most exposed part of your body at work, and you are likely to be touching the substances that may be triggering the adverse skin reaction.

What are the causes of work-related dermatitis?

As with any health problems, there can be a number of different variables that could be the cause of your skin condition. There are also likely to be a number of different things that you may have been exposed to that could have caused or triggered your work-related dermatitis. Certain substances are also more likely to aggravate your skin than others, and therefore exposure to them can be painful. Substances that are know to be causative agents include the following:

  • Paints
  • Glues
  • Bleaches
  • Cement
  • Flour

What are the symptoms of work-related dermatitis?

Some of the most common symptoms that you may experience if you work related dermatitis include:

  • Cracking of the skin
  • Redness of the skin
  • Rashes on the skin
  • Blotchy skin
  • Itchy skin

If you have been suffering from these symptoms, then it is best to visit your doctor, where they will most likely provide you with an emollient to try and relieve the painful symptoms. Some common jobs that may mean that you are more at risk of suffering from dermatitis include:

  • Cleaning and housekeeping jobs
  • Hairdressing and beauty
  • Engineering and construction
  • Cooking and catering jobs
  • Nursing and healthcare

What is work related asthma?

Another potential health issue that you may be at risk of suffering from in certain occupations is work related asthma. This is when a worker is consistently exposed to particles in the air and they therefore eventually become sensitised to them. Human lungs are constantly exposed to various compounds that are carried in the air. Some of these are harmful to the body and some are harmless. The immune system of the lungs determines whether or not they need to mount a response to these compounds, and a dysfunction in this system can lead to a response to harmless compounds. This is what then leads to work related asthma developing.

What are the symptoms of work-related asthma?

If you have developed work related asthma, then the symptoms can potentially have a huge impact on your life. Symptoms can include:

  • Severe asthma attacks
  • Wheezing and coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Constricted chest movement

When it has developedfrom a workplace environment, it is often the case that you will have been exposed to a particular irritant substance that will have triggered the asthmatic reaction.

If you are suffering from either work related asthma or work-related dermatitis, specialist industrial disease solicitors will be the best people to help you pursue a claim against your employer. The right compensation can aid you in making sure that you are able to return to the best possible level of health.

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