Respiratory injuries are not readily apparent in the workplace unlike head or foot injuries. In some cases it may not be until after workers retire that symptons and diagnosis happens. It is therefore very important that all staff that are, or may be, at risk have access to Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) that not only meets an appropriate European standard, but also fits the user.
In the UK the health and Safety Executives are trying to reduce the figures for diagnosed work related respiratory illness (there were 2997 instances in 2006/7) and now require that all persons working with Lead or Asbestos are fit-tested. In 2005, 373 death certificates included work related asbestosis as the cause or underlying cause of death.