IMPORTANCE OF LUNG FUNCTION TESTS (TFTs) AT WORKPLACE

Lung function tests are mandatory in any industry where their workforces are exposed to hazardous substances that contain acknowledged respiratory sensitizers. Testing should also be performed on employees who are potentially exposed to irritant dusts, gases and vapours in the workplace.

A lung function test aims to detect early lung damage from exposure to respiratory sensitizers from activities such as:

  • Airborne dust on construction sites
  • Isocyanates found in two-pack paint sprays
  • Jack hammering bitumen in roadwork’s
  • Wearing powdered natural latex gloves
  • Dusty roofs from laying insulation

These substances can cause Occupational lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Occupational Asthma.  The Occupations most at risk include:

  • Painters and the Automotive Bodyshop industry
  • Healthcare services
  • Bakeries and food production
  • Repairers in the electronics industry
  • Wood workers including the forestry industry
  • Welders
  • Cleaning service industry
  • Beauty service industry

Spirometry testing for employees working with respiratory sensitizers should be tested as employment commences to establish a baseline of lung function. Spirometry may then be carried out every 12 months intervals. Where a lung-function abnormality is identified or the risk of lung damage is high spirometry may be carried out more frequently.

BSMT Occupational Health Services can provide an on-site lung-function testing service using expert, fully trained professionals, plus equipment and methods that comply with the latest standards and guidelines. Each lung-function test takes approximately 15 minutes and our service includes:

  • A confidential questionnaire documenting substance exposure and health history
  • Blood pressure reading
  • Advise and referrals for employees whose lung function is found to be effected
  • Practical recommendations for PPE solutions

Analysis of the results can be provided in the format of a detailed report for each attendee if consent to release this data is given or with a summary report where consent is withheld. We retain all lung-function results confidentially and use initial test results as a baseline for future testing.
 

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