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Revealed: What you need to do when conducting health and safety risk assessments for your disabled employees

by , 13 January 2014
If you've employed disabled employees, you're legally obliged to accommodate them as far as is reasonably practicable. How do you do this? Conduct health and safety risk assessments. Continue reading to find out what you must do when conducting health and safety risk assessments for disabled employees.

One of the steps you must take after you've hired a disabled employee is to conduct a risk assessment.

You use the findings of your assessment to 'provide clear recommendations on how to implement reasonable adjustments and timescales and build them into successful risk management,' says the Health & Safety Advisor.

So how do you go about conducting a risk assessment?

Do the following eight things when conducting health and safety risk assessments for disabled employees

#1: Involve disabled applicants and employees to find the best way to safely accommodate their disability.

#2: Work together with disabled applicants and employees when doing risk assessments that consider the effects of the person's disability. And when thinking about the 'reasonable accommodation' needed for them to enter or stay in their workplace.

#3: Take account of any adjustments already in place, so you base your conclusions on any remaining risks, if they exist.

#4: Make new 'reasonable accommodations' to overcome remaining risks. Remember to work with disabled employees to tailor the adjustments to their needs.

#5: Be sensitive and timely to support disabled employees and avoid delays. Where you can't help delays, you need to make short-term temporary arrangements so they're not at a disadvantage in their work.

Read on for the last 3 things you need to do...

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Take this quick quiz to find out if you can handle the DoL hot seat

  • Which risk assessments have to be checked by an approved inspector every two years?
  • Is it absolutely necessary for your company to appoint and train someone as a risk assessor?
  • When was the last time you did a risk assessment? (Is that too long?)
  • Have you checked and double checked the less obvious health hazards?
If you can't answer even one of these questions you're not only putting your employee's lives at risk; you're also putting yourself in danger of massive fine from the DoL.

Don't wait until it's too late.

Learn how to do your risk assessments correctly here.

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#6: Give good reasons for decisions you make to manage health and safety risks in relation to disabled employees. Otherwise you risk being discriminatory.

#7: Create a working environment that allows disabled employees to feel comfortable talking about their disability.

#8: Allow disabled employees to be self-sufficient and able to enter and stay in work with ease. Check with them that workplace adjustments you've made for them are helpful and not a hindrance.

Knowing what to do when conducting health and safety risk assessments for disabled employees will help ensure you provide reasonable accommodation.

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