Occupational Health and Lung Function Testing

SMP Healthcare

There are many legal obligations for employers when it comes to the health and safety of their staff and lung function tests are mandatory in any industry where workers may be exposed to hazardous substances. These tests should be performed on all employees who could be exposed to irritant dusts, gases and vapours within their working environment. Lung function tests should be performed regularly and are especially required where employees work with known respiratory sensitizers.




What is a Lung Function Test?

Also known as Workplace Spirometry tests, Lung function tests aim to detect and early damage to lung function from exposure to respiratory sensitisers and other substances that have the potential to cause serious ill health.

For example, silicosis may be caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica in the stone cutting industry.

Baseline testing can be an early detection mechanism and the screening records may also be used to reduce liabilities in respect of industrial claims for compensation.

Which substances are known to contribute to occupational lung disease?

Substances that can cause Occupational Lung Disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Occupational Asthma, normally trigger a Health Surveillance requirement or, in particular, spirometry / lung-function tests. Examples of such respiratory sensitisers are:

Occupational Asthma:

  • Isocyanates
  • Welding Fumes
  • Dust and other Airborne Particulates (including Wood Dust)
  • Paints / Adhesives/ Resins
  • Glutaraledehyde
  • Latex
  • Soldering Flux

Lung Disease / COPD

  • Asbestos
  • Silica Dust / Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS)
  • Ceramic Fibre

The above lists are not exhaustive and you should refer to the latest COSHH regulations / assessments for clarification.

The above information has been sourced from https://www.healthscreenuk.co.uk/

If you are looking for occupational health solutions for your business then the Medigest Business Directory can help you find a provider in your local area. It is important that you are aware of your legal obligations as an employer and a specialist Occupational Health Expert could help you to ensure that you have everything in place for the health and wellbeing of your staff. Please visit https://www.medigest.uk/directory/ for more information.

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