Prevention 

An employer should know 

  • Getting rid of the cause of work related asthma is the best answer. This means working in a place where you can substitute a material/chemical with a different one or work in a place where there are no substancesthat can cause asthma.
  • If working in a place where changing materials is not possible, exposure should be minimized using engineering controls. Good, safe enclosures and local exhaust should be provided at all points where dust, vapors, gases and fumes are released. It is also important to know that engineering controls need regular care and should be tested often in order to prevent work hazards such as spills or leaks.
  • Providing training to employees on safe working and housekeeping methods is a great way to prevent injuries.
  • Good handling procedures and work practices should be developed. Showers and company laundered coveralls may be needed. This is important to protect workers who may be exposed.
  • Giving personal protective equipment (PPE) to workers and training them on how to use them well is also a good way to help reduce illness and injuries.
  • If all of the options for controlling the dangers have been looked at and there is still a problem, you may have to wear protective gear like a respirator. All workers should be trained how to use and care for their respirators.
  • There are safe ways to handle sensitizing materials. Telling workers about dangers in the work area is important and proper training should be given so people can stay safe at work.
  • Consult an occupational hygienist.

Employees should

  • Learn about the hazards in the workplace by talking to your health and safety agent
  • Follow safe work practices
  • Use PPE
  • Report any problems with equipment or ventilation systems
  • Join in health and safety programs in your workplace.
  • Be aware of the early signs of occupational asthma

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