Symptoms of Asthma at Work: Find Out What The Symptoms Of Occupational Asthma Are And Why To Succeed With A Claim For Compensation You Should First Experience Your Symptoms Whilst In The Work Environment
Symptoms asthma work: On this page you will find out how exposure to air born dust and chemicals can cause asthma and other breathing disorders, when you will be expected to suffer your first symptoms of asthma and how long the law allows you to claim compensation for respiratory irritation from occupational asthma.
What are the symptoms and cause of asthma at work?
Your symptoms of work related asthma might include: wheezing (a whistling sound due to a narrowing or obstruction of the air passages to the lungs), a shortness of breath, tightness across your chest and in the worst cases can include the need to gasp for air.
Symptoms of asthma at work develop from exposure to dusts, vapours or chemicals in the air which when inhaled irritate the air passages to your lungs causing an inflammation and narrowing of the airways.
Occupational asthma sufferers will often need to use a nebuliser or air pump to relax the air passages – although it is very important to first identify the air borne irritant to ensure exposure ceases or is limited.
When are you most likely to first suffer symptoms of asthma at work?
One of the tests for occupational asthma is the date of onset of symptoms. If your asthma has come from exposure to hazardous chemicals at work the initial symptoms should commence whilst you are still in the work environment exposed to the irritants in the air.
We are often approached by clients who have stopped working many years ago in a dusty work environment. Often we are initially informed that the symptoms of asthma have only recently developed and were not present at the time of working in the dusty work environment.
If this is truly correct – it is unlikely that the asthma can have been caused by the work environment exposure.
It is however very important to appreciate that when you are younger, although you might be experiencing symptoms of industrial asthma, you may ignore these symptoms and be more concerned with doing your job and towing the line.
It is therefore very important to think about when you first started to experience symptoms of your asthma and whether in actual fact this did take place when you were in the hazardous work environment.
Remember – it is quite possible that you didn’t realise at the time that the signs you experienced were the onset of asthma symptoms.
In addition – it might be that a later work environment has further exposed you to hazardous air borne chemicals and aggravated your asthma symptoms. In which case – more than one employer might be held responsible for your occupational asthma condition.
Remember once again – if symptoms were not experienced in one of the various work environments it would be very difficult to associate any asthma breathing problems with work place exposure.
What happens if your hobbies have exposed you to hazardous chemicals?
It could well be the case that the symptoms of asthma that you are suffering may have developed from a combination of air borne irritants in the work place and vapours in your personal life in the hobbies that you may do.
If this is the case – it might be possible to associate a percentage of your breathing disorder to your former or current employer, but not the whole percentage of your problems.
Difficulties will arise if you have stopped working in a hazardous environment and continue your exposed to hazardous chemicals in the hobbies that you undertake. If at a later time you develop symptoms of asthma there is a strong case to say that it is your hobbies which have caused the asthma and not that of the irritants in the work environment.
How long do you have to claim for symptoms of asthma at work?
You have three years from the date of your injury or the date of knowledge of your injury to start a claim at court.
When symptoms of asthma are experienced it is very unlikely you would have known that you were suffering from asthma – many clients have told me that the ageing process or lack of exercise were believed to be the cause.
Knowledge will often be at the point that you seek medical treatment and you are diagnosed as suffering from asthma. A doctor will often discuss your hobbies and places of employment. If it is found that your work environment could be to blame the doctor will likely explain.
Certainly at the point of medical diagnosis – you will be considered to have knowledge of your injury and the three year time period will start to run.
What should you do is you suspect you are suffering symptoms of asthma from work air borne irritants?
If you suspect you have symptoms of asthma at work you should contact a doctor for proper treatment / diagnosis and contact a our specialist industrial asthma solicitors to discuss whether you might have a claim for compensation.
See our asthma compensation payouts article to see examples of the amounts of compensation you can claim for occupational asthma symptoms.