AM Seafoods has been recognised by the HSE as being at the forefront of researching and understanding the potential risk for occupational asthma in employees working in the fish and shellfish processing industry.
Published studies about occupational respiratory disease supports concerns that processing some types of fish and shellfish can lead to the inhalation of protein allergens causing asthma.
Due to AM Seafoods experience within the industry of these issues the HSE wished to consult and understand more about the methods used to process fish and shellfish and how we currently try to minimise exposure to these allergens. AM Seafoods gladly assisted the HSE with a fact finding factory visit on 7th December 2016
Before the visit AM Seafoods had previously reported to the local HSE inspector concerns regarding reported respiratory problems from staff when processing crab meat. Recognising the link between exposure to shellfish allergens and occupational asthma investigations had been made and assessments undertaken of specific practices and monitoring of airborne exposure.
The results of this study were shared with the HSE and of changes implemented to reduce the exposure of the specific allergic protein tropomyosin. After the changes were introduced the results demonstrated much lower emissions.
Working together AM Seafoods and the HSE’s research we hope will lead to an industry wide standard that will help to protect employees within the shellfish industry.
Research work and further visits are planned in the New Year.