There is plenty of legislation and regulations relating to the equal opportunities of those employees with disabilities; so if you are an employer it is important that you understand this legislation in full so that you are operating within legal parameters and that you are able to provide a safe and secure environment within which all of your employees are able to work.
In order to do this there are a few different actions that you may need to take depending on the disability that your employee has. During the interview process or once you have offered a candidate the job you may discuss their requirements with them to ensure you can adapt their environment, this is the simplest way of finding out what that individual needs. Once you have done that you can find the best way to accommodate them. So, what can you do to help?
Creating a Safe Environment for Wheelchair Users
If your employee is in a wheel chair for any reason it is important that they have access to appropriate facilities while they are at work. This may include a disabled toilet and sink, a lower work top in the kitchen and a special desk to accommodate their wheelchair. You will also need to think about providing ramps and lifts to use instead of the stairs, which may pose a risk of injury to an employee in a wheelchair. However, before implementing anything, please speak to your employee, if they are happy to do so, to make sure you have covered everything. They are the experts after all, and they may be able to advise you on a better way of proceeding.
Providing the Correct Visual Information for Those with Hearing Impairments
Some individuals with a hearing impairment are able to hear at a functional level with the help of a hearing aid, so there may be very little that needs altering in your workplace. However, if an employee has a more severe hearing impairment then alterations may be required.
If you are able to, try to use e-mail to communicate important information so that it is received correctly. This can also be useful to send meeting minutes or instructions so that they are received and understood. An individual with a hearing impairment may be very good at lip reading, so make sure that all members of staff know that if they are speaking to them to do it face to face so that they can understand.
Adaptations for Those with Visual Impairments
For those individuals who are blind or who have a visual impairment it can be very difficult going in to a new environment as they are not aware of their surroundings. There are a few ways in which this can be made easier using careful lighting, contrasting colours and blindespor. Using different types of lighting will help those with partial sight do tasks such as reading and writing and identifying certain objects. It is important to discuss lighting with the individual however, as some people are very sensitive to bright lights; so they can be a hindrance rather than a help. It is important to find a specialist company to provide you with any equipment you may need to ensure it is up to the correct safety standards.
These changes will all allow a blind or partially sighted employee to navigate their working environment with relative ease and ensure that their health and safety is taken into consideration. So do not delay in finding out how to provide a safe environment for your employees today.