How to Deal with an Asthma Attack in the Workplace

Posted on 30th August 2023

As a leader in the workplace, it is important to ensure the safety and well-being of your employees at all times. One health condition that can often be unpredictable and life-threatening is asthma. It is crucial to understand the triggers, signs and symptoms, and treatment of asthma in order to be prepared for a potential attack in the workplace.

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects the airways in the lungs. It causes inflammation, narrowing of the airways, and increased mucus production, making it difficult to breathe. Asthma attacks can be triggered by various factors, including allergies, exercise, smoke, strong scents, cold air, and stress. While there is no cure for asthma, it can be managed with proper treatment.

If someone is experiencing an asthma attack, it is important to act quickly and provide first aid.

Signs and symptoms of an asthma attack may include difficulty breathing and speaking, wheezy breath sounds, chest tightness, and coughing a lot; in a severe attack they may become exhausted.


Encourage the person to sit upright and loosen any tight clothing. Offer them their reliever inhaler (usually blue) and encourage them to take it; they can take 1 puff every 30 – 60 seconds for up to 10 puffs. Try to keep the person calm during the attack. If their symptoms don’t improve within the 10 puffs or they feel worse at any point, call 999 immediately.

Prevention and management

To prevent asthma attacks in the workplace, identify any potential triggers and take measures to eliminate or reduce them. These measures may include improving indoor air quality, implementing a smoking ban, and providing education and resources to employees about asthma.

As a leader in the workplace, it is important to ensure that employees are educated and trained on the proper procedures for dealing with asthma attacks. Encourage open communication between employees about any medical conditions they may have and work with them to create an action plan in case of an emergency.

In conclusion, it is important to be prepared to respond to medical emergencies, such as an asthma attack. Understanding the signs and symptoms of asthma and following proper first aid steps can potentially save someone’s life. Let’s work together to create a safe and healthy work environment for all employees.

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