Posted by: Distressed | 2007/06/09

Resignation due to Occupational Asthma

Shortly after starting a new job at a printing company I was diagnosed with occupational asthma (due to some printing ink/solvent irritant). I am going to have to leave very soon because I am physically extremely distressed. My doctor is willing to write a letter saying that I have Occup. Asthma and that I cannot continue working there.
Financially, however, it will be disastrous for me to leave. But I have to.... What are my best options? How should I proceed?
I should mention that I experienced the same problem at the previous company where I worked. They, however, were able to move to a workstation that was mostly devoid of irritants.
When I joined my new company I had no idea that I would develop this condition again. My condition seems to becoming progressively worse.
I am 40yrs old and prior to my last job have absolutely no history of respiratory or asthmatic problems. I have a feeling that overexposure to irritants at my last job trigured this medical condition. Minimal exposure to these irritants now causes an acute and almost instant asthmatic response.
I find myself in a very difficult position - financially and careerwise as my ability to earn an income is going to be cut off in a couple of weeks time.
Any suggestions?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageWorkplace health expert

I would contact an Occupational Medicine doctor or Dept of Labour ASAP. Your exposures at the first place of work need to be assessed as to possible cause and potential for harm. Your current employer needs to handle the case within legal parameters - medical screening, medical surveillance exposure, protection for you, baseline and screening lung functions, possible redeployment, etc. You also should see a Pulmonologist to make an accurate diagnosis. Please do not despair - you can be helped - just contact the relevant experts who will assist you. Pleas keep me posted.

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