Other Workplaces

This information is for people that work in other areas. It gives information on things in the workplace that could damage the lungs and advice on how to protect them.

What are the hazards?

These are some of the hazards you may come into contact with at work.

  • Dust

    Inhalation of dust and other particles from manufacturing processes, flour, grain, animals, wood and brick.

  • Fumes

    Fumes from chemicals, paints and glues, manufacturing processes, engines and cleaning products.

  • Bacteria

    Some infectious lung diseases can be transmitted in the workplace particularly if you work in agriculture or with animals, or in a healthcare or leisure environment.

Smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung conditions like COPD and lung cancer

If you smoke, you will be at a much higher risk of developing a lung condition.


How can your health be affected?

How to protect yourself

Your employer has a responsibility to ensure the work environment is appropriately ventilated and that you are provided with protective clothing and appropriate safety advice.

Here are some easy things you can do to ensure you're doing everything you can to protect your lung health at work.

  • Assess Risk

    Do risk assessments to make sure you are doing jobs safely and efficiently.

  • Wear the correct mask

    A mask can stop you developing a work-related lung condition caused by inhaling hazardous substances.

    Different masks are available in a range of sizes and designs, so if you are having trouble using a mask supplied by your employer you should discuss the options for using a different kind of mask.

  • Ventilation

    All workplaces need an adequate supply of fresh air - however if you are self employed you may not work in a ventilation controlled environment.

    Using a dust lamp is a cheap and effect way to identify dust and mist clouds in your work environment and assist you in identifying if your workplace is ventilating properly.

  • Health check-ups

    Get your health regularly checked – either through a health scheme at your workplace, or by regularly seeing a healthcare professional.

  • When Cleaning

    Check ingredients in cleaning products and avoid those that will put you at risk.

    Use wipes not sprays so that you are putting less chemicals into the air for you to breathe in.

    Follow label instructions about the safe use of chemicals.

  • Avoid Harmful Products

    Check whether any of the products you use can be swapped for versions that are less damaging to health.

More information