Diseases, infections and allergies in the workplace

Manage risks from substances which can trigger allergies or asthma


Some substances that you or your staff may be exposed to at work can cause asthma, or make existing asthma worse. This can include chemicals and 'naturally occurring' substances and things such as grain dust, flour dust, animal dander, mould spores, mites, etc.

Just as with other substances hazardous to health, you need to:

  • assess the risks, provide adequate control measures, ensure the safe use and maintenance of these substances
  • provide information, instruction and training
  • in appropriate cases, carry out health surveillance

Contact with some substances can also cause skin conditions

If your employees develop an allergy you'll need to ensure you take steps to protect them. You can download Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations guidance (PDF, 264K) or see managing hazardous substances.

Managing allergies also means taking steps to protect your customers. An obvious example of this is in the food industry. You should use clear labelling to make sure that customers with allergies can avoid products that might trigger a reaction. See labelling food products.