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Three essential safety steps you MUST take once you've hired a disabled employee

by , 12 July 2013
As an employer, you're legally obliged to accommodate your disabled employees as far as is reasonably practical. You can't dismiss your disabled employee without making every effort to accommodate him. If you do, you could face up to six months in prison. Here are three steps you should take to accommodate his disability from the moment he enters your workplace:

According to the Health and Safety Advisor, a special needs worker is an employee who has a disability (mental or physical) that limits a major life activity, such as the ability to walk, or see.

Although this is the case, your special needs employee, however, can still perform essential job functions with reasonable accommodation.

So follow these three steps to ensure you accommodate a disabled employee accordingly once you've hired him,

Have you hired a disabled employee? Take these three steps to accommodate him

#1: Develop a working environment in which your employees feel safe and supported. They should feel they can disclose and discuss concerns and consider any reasonable adjustment that might have an effect on the management of their disability or long-term health condition.

#2: Conduct a risk assessment and use the findings to provide clear recommendations on how to implement reasonable adjustments and timescales and build them into successful risk management.

Reasonable adjustments could include:

  • Making your workplace accessible and usable, for example, having ramps for an employee confined to a wheelchair.
  • Providing personal support, for example, readers for employees with impaired vision, interpreters for the hearing impaired.
  • Restructuring, for example, an employee with arthritis could perform his duties better if you design the office to be more ergonomically friendly with lower shelves to prevent over-stretching.

#3: Provide a medical examination for your prospective disabled employee. This will determine whether he's capable of performing the tasks requirement of the job.

There you have it. Taking these steps as soon as you've appointed a disabled employee will help ensure you accommodate as far as is reasonably practicable.

Click here to the one resource that'll help you to effectively manage risk in your business for your disabled employees.

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