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Bodyshops offered asthma prevention training

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is running a safety awareness day in Chelmsford offering free training for companies in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk in a bid to drive down occupational asthma.

Paint sprayers in vehicle bodyshops are 80 times more likely to develop work-related asthma than the rest of the working population. There are an estimated 1,500 cases of work-related asthma every year and isocyanates contained in two-pack paints are one of its biggest causes.

The safety awareness day will take place at Writtle College, Lordship Road, Chelmsford, Essex, between 9am and 2pm on Thursday, July 6 and includes refreshments.

Dr Mark Piney, an HSE specialist, said: "Sprayers are more likely to get asthma because of chemicals in the paints they use called isocyanates. When the paint is sprayed, very high concentrations of isocyanates are released into the air.

"Sprayers can develop asthma rapidly if not properly protected and once the asthma starts that's the end of their life as a sprayer. We need people to come to this free event so they can reduce their chance of getting this horrible disease.

"Many people who get occupational asthma end us as respiratory cripples. I've seen cases where they can't even walk upstairs to their own toilet. We want the paint spraying industry to work with us to minimise the suffering that asthma can cause."

  • Companies wishing to attend should contact Simon Wicks at the Health and Safety Executive on 01603 753805.
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