Who could be at risk of bakers lung?

Certain jobs or careers make you more likely to develop asthma. Occupational asthma is also called work related asthma. Flour dust can cause asthma as well as dermatitis and affects anyone who works with it. 

What Is Baker’s Lung?

Flour dust and enzymes that contain additives such as amylase are the second most common cause of industrial asthma. Baker’s Lung is caused by breathing in flour and grains (wheat, rye, barley, soy or buckwheat), additives and enzymes added to bread and baking, and other allergens present in bakeries—eggs or egg powder, sesame/sesame seeds, yeast and nuts—and non-food allergens like dust mites and other moulds.

With proper precautions put in place, the risk of baker’s lung can be reduced or even eradicated.

Who Is Most At Risk Of Baker’s Lung?

There are a variety of potential work places that could put employees at risk of baker’s lung.

You are at risk of baker’s lung if you work as:

  • A head chef
  • A cook
  • Food processor
  • Food preparation worker
  • Baker or grain miller

 

What Are The Symptoms Of Baker’s Lung?

Baker’s Lung is more commonly known as occupational asthma and its name derives from what profession has caused the asthma. The symptoms of baker’s lung are therefore the same as occupational asthma.

They include:

  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • A tight chest
  • Coughing

More serious symptoms that could indicate an asthma attack include:

  • Wheezing or coughing becoming severe
  • Becoming too breathless to eat, speak or sleep
  • Breathing faster
  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Drowsiness, confusion or exhaustion
  • Blue lips
  • Fainting

If the symptoms appear to be worse during the working week and they ease off at weekends or holidays, this is a good indication that the asthma is related to a place of work.

How Can I Protect Myself From Baker’s Lung?

There are precautions that can be taken by both employees and employers to reduce or even eliminate the risk of baker’s lung.

For employees, the Health And Safety Executive recommend:

  • Working carefully and avoiding clouds of dust
  • Avoid sweeping up flour or using compressed air. Use wet methods or an industrial vacuum cleaner instead
  • Wear protective equipment provided, such as a mask

Employers are responsible for:

  • Providing dust extraction and protective equipment for employees who carry out dusty tasks
  • Ensuring health surveillance
  • Regular environmental health and safety checks
  • Removing avoidable substances from the environment
  • Providing a well-ventilated working area

How Can You Claim For Baker’s Lung?

If your employer hasn’t taken the necessary precautions to protect you and your colleagues from baker’s lung, you may be entitled to damages if you are showing symptoms of the condition. As employers, they are responsible for putting reasonable precautions in place to protect you from conditions such as baker’s lung.

If you think that you, a family member or friend have suffered as a result of occupational asthma. Contact us for a free no obligation consultation on 0161 685 0070. Or use the form below.


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