authors: Remko Houba, Jos Rooijackers, Vanessa Zaat, Erik Stigter, Mischa Niederer, Bernadette Aalders, Tineke Rens, Dick Heederik
presented at: , 2015
abstract: Within the bakery industry workers are at risk of developing occupational respiratory allergies due to exposure to several flours (e.g. wheat, rye) and enzymatic flour additives (e.g. fungal amylase). Within the framework of self-regulation, as stimulated by the Dutch government since 2007, the bakery industry initiated several activities with the aim of managing risks for work-related respiratory allergies.
A health surveillance programme was introduced in 2010 for all exposed workers in small and large bakeries in the Netherlands. All workers fill in a questionnaire (N=7,500; response rate approx 65%) and based on medical triage (Suarthana et al. Am J Ind Med 2005; 48:168–74) part of these workers (N=450) are invited for further medical investigation and follow-up. Bakers with occupational allergies get individually based medical advice. Bakers with occupational asthma who need to leave the bakery occupation are getting help and financial support to get retrained to another profession.
For primary prevention, a good practice guide was developed. It provides tools (task sheets, PIMEX movies) to help bakeries to further reduce allergen exposure and to increase knowledge of the potential effects of allergen exposure. Recently, evidence-based intervention studies were performed to investigate the effectiveness of some of the good practices within the guide.
The programme within the bakery industry can be seen as an example for other sectors with coordinated activities on industry level on primary, secondary and tertiary prevention. During the presentation, the full programme will be presented, including the main results of health surveillance and exposure studies.
source: Ann Occup Hyg (2015) 59 (suppl 1): 1-47 doi:10.1093/annhyg/meu119