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Exposure to Respiratory Irritants and Sensitisers

If your role at the University involves working with respiratory irritants, sensitisers or other potential hazards from inhalation, there is a requirement to work within the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations.  Your line-manager should inform you of the results of any risk assessment associated with your role and advise you on suitable control measures to protect you from lung damage or disease.

Should the risk assessment indicate a need for it, you will be asked to attend the Occupational Health Service (OH) to meet with one of the Occupational Health Advisers (OHA).  The OHA will ask you to complete a questionnaire about allergies, any respiratory symptoms you have experienced/are experiencing, relevant health history and any exposure to respiratory irritants and sensitisers in previous jobs.  The OHA will check if there any contraindications to perform a lung function test (spirometry) such as very high blood pressure or recent surgery.  If there are no contraindications, spirometry will be performed.  The OHA will then explain the results to you.  Your line-manager will be provided with advice on your fitness to work with exposure to respiratory irritants and sensitisers and of any identified need for adjustments to your work that may be required.  This report will not contain any confidential medical information.

If any problems have been detected, the OHA may refer you to either your GP or the Occupational Physician (or both).

If you have any questions about the health surveillance programme, please contact Occupational Health at
UoE Health & Safety Standard (Management and Control of Substances Hazardous to Health)
Working with substances hazardous to health – A brief guide to COSHH