COPD is a major cause of disability and death, thousands of people die each year from work-related lung diseases and in many cases due to exposures that took place many years before. COPD describes a number of breathing problems where there is damage to the breathing tubes and air sacs within the lung. Breathing in certain dusts, fumes, chemicals or gases in the workplace can cause serious long term lung damage.
Occupational health needs to be tackled through a partnership approach. Workers, Trade Unions, industry groups and senior management need to be involved to ensure a safe environment is created for all.