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Question
Posted by: lettie | 2005/07/14

health workers and latex allergies in the work place

has the mentioned subject received any attention in RSA. e.g the liability of employers regarding the use of latex product within the workplace. Have subjects with this problem been dealt with fairly and have they been compensated. How many cases are being mismanaged that the authorities dealing with these cases are aware of etc Has this particular subject actually been fully investigated?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageWorkplace health expert

Lettie,thank you for your post. Latex allergy has been well recorded, and researched in South Africa. There has been much written and reported in the Occ Health literature. Ther have also been cases recognised and reported to COID,particularly in the healthcare industry. I am unsure as to whether these cases were accepted by COID. Perhaps someone could answer this?Rememeber when you refer to liability of emplpyers,it is the same as for all health and safety responsibility and the is covered under WCA/COID.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Fedup latex sufferer | 2005/08/12

Nurse informed by a Doctor and Skin Specialist that she suffers from latex allergy. Managers at work are informed. Nothing at work changes because , Nurse is told, there is no money. Nurse desperate due to signs and symptoms suffered by herself, visits another Doctor. Doctor books her off from work because working conditions pose a threat to Nurses health. Doctor further informs Managers that Nurse may return to work when working conditions do not pose a threat to Nurses life. Nurse is approached by Managers almost a year later and informed that another work within the institution will become available. Nurse is placed in another little office in front of a computer. She is offered computer courses. Nurse is expected to suddenly type all discussions at meetings if she wants to prove that she can do the job. (Not knowing what the job is and what it really entails). A month or so later a middle Manager informs nurse that there are no jobs available for her. Middle Manager doesnt know what is going to happen to Nurse. Nurse approaches the Union and Association regarding the work situation which by now has become a severe frustration and feeling like a total burden to the rest of civilisation. The Union person tells Nurse to not bother if she does not have work to do in the office, just to sit and do no work if theres no work to be done! The Association person tells Nurse to resign and look for another job and they will in the meantime handle the problem of which Nurse has not heard again! Middle Manager also had the attitude of "I have bent over backwards for you" Nurse could not handle the situation and eventually resigned. Found herself in difficult situation of finding a job after working for this particular institution for 20 years. What was this Nurse supposed to have done in these circumstances to carry on practising at this particular institution. She incidently had no other income and was trained to do nothing else but nursing.

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