Work-related asthma can be prevented, according to the May 25, 2012 Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Work-related asthma includes asthma contracted from one’s workplace and asthma worsened by one’s workplace. Furthermore, older workers and those of minority ethnic groups are at the greatest risk, according to the CDC report.

Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recognizes the serious problem of occupational asthma. OSHA also requires that employers conduct a hazard assessment of the workplace. The employer must provide protective equipment to the employees and instruct them on when and how to use the equipment. Employers must re-train the employees whenever there is a change in the equipment or work environment. This includes respiratory equipment and protection. In fact, OSHA requires all employers to have a respiratory protection program for employees that is updated whenever the work environment changes. As part of the program, employers must inform employees of respiratory hazards to which they are exposed regardless of how often they are exposed. Also, employers must provide access to physical examinations to exposed employees.

If you are a railroad worker who has been diagnosed with work-related asthma, please contact us for information about your legal rights under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act.