Employers failing staff on asthma prevention

Twenty people develop asthma every day because employers are failing to
control the causes at work, according to a survey reported in Hazards magazine.

The survey of nearly 1,000 union safety reps in workplaces where
asthma-causing substances are used regularly shows that many employers are not
carrying out their legal obligations.

Although legislation states that as a first step employers should substitute
the dangerous substance with one less dangerous, only 8 per cent of those
surveyed do so. But 41 per cent do carry out risk assessments and 26 per cent
provide breathing equipment.

The TUC is calling for a legally binding approved code of practice detailing
what employers must do to prevent asthma.

Owen Tudor, TUC senior policy office, said, "No one needs to develop
asthma at work, so anyone who does has cause to be very bitter indeed.
Employers have shown that guidance and general rules aren’t enough. We need a
specific legal code on asthma to breathe some life back into workers’ lung
safety."

Workers most at risk include carpenters, bakers and nurses and those in
manufacturing.

www.tuc.org.uk

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