Employers’ asthma wake-up callOn 1 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Too little is being done to prevent occupational asthma and employers mustaddress the problemAsthma could cost employers £3bn over the next decade because they arerefusing to substitute asthma-inducing products with safer ones, warns the TUC.Employers are continuing to be forced to pay out billions of pounds in loststaff days, lower productivity and high compensation payouts as a result, itadded. The study, published in its Risks Health and Safety bulletin, highlights theNHS as one of the worst offenders, particularly over the continued use in somehospitals of powdered latex gloves which have been blamed for causingallergies. Nearly 1,000 safety reps were surveyed, who reported that only 8 per cent ofemployers were substituting asthma-causing substances with safer alternatives. The most common preventive tool used was respiratory protective equipment,which should be the last thing employers reach for when protecting theirworkforce, said the TUC. It estimated there were more than 150,000 people in the UK with occupationalasthma, with between 1,500 and 7,000 adults developing asthma because of theirwork every year. Workers were most commonly exposed to glues and resins, wood dust and latex.Other common substances they were exposed to included isocyanates (widely usedas a bonding agent, in spray paints, for instance), solder/colophony, flour andgrain and the disinfectant glutaraldehyde. TUC General Secretary John Monks said: “Too many employers seem tothink that asthma won’t cost them any money because the NHS will pay fortreatment – but the NHS itself is an employer that loses millions by notcontrolling asthma at work, and they are currently part of the problem, notpart of the solution. “Employers need to wake up and stop their workers sufferingneedlessly,” he said. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.