Title 24

  • Safety Tips for Mobility Impaired Employees

    Health and Safety of their employees should be a company's prime focus. Employers are responsible for the safety of everyone at their workplace, but an employee must also be aware of the various aspects that will keep him/her safe at the workplace. It is the employer's duty to take the necessary steps and make arrangements for a safe environment for all his employees. Though a large percentage of employees is capable of operating safely in a workplace, there are some,who face certain disability issues who may face difficulties.

    ADADisabled employees, may need extra attention than other employees at a particular workplace. Their special needs should be taken care of by making the workplace easily accessible and safe for them. It is important to remember that every person with a disability has certain specific limitations and associated requirements, so it is important to address their needs accordingly.

    Basic arrangements like acquiring or modifying necessary equipment is one of the primary changes to be made. For example, employees who are visually impaired, should be provided with Braille keyboards. The firm may need to get new or adapt existing equipment, for example chairs desks, computers, etc. for the benefit of the employee. These changes will ensure disabled employees can be as comfortable and productive as abled employees, and they think of themselves as an integral part of the workplace.

    The following factors can help the firm make better arrangements for disabled clients or visitors, as and when required.

    Moving Around in Workplace

    One of the major areas of concern for disabled employees, deals with movement. Many disabled employees may face a major problem in moving around in the work place. They are unable to move from one desk to another without proper support.

    One solution for this issue is the use of mobility scooters. These are electric scooters that can move from one place to another effortlessly. Its compact size allows this scooter to navigate through even the tightest spaces and provide a stable riding experience; this make such scooters a suitable choice for a workplace.

    More space for the wheelchair or mobility scooters

    Manual wheelchair users need sufficient space to be able to move their assistive device without banging their elbows or knuckles on door frames or other obstacles. Someone who is able to walk only with the help of crutches also needs more space as compared to somebody who doesn't need any kind of assistance while walking. Thus providing adequate clear space on stairs, lifts, ramps, in and around the buildings and through the doorways etc, will benefit many people.

    Placement of fittings

    The height of the switchboards, handles etc, - which the wheelchair users have to reach is also important. As a general rule any feature that is intended for use by people in wheelchairs, such as push buttons, switches, coin slots etc, should be of appropriate height above ground level. They must be placed in such a position that by leaning forward or sideways it is possible for a wheelchair user to reach them easily.

    The signage at the workplace might also need modifications, for e.g. if you want to make the signage disabled friendly, a bigger text will be appropriate. Installing both visual and audible alarms is also equally important.

    In case of an emergency

    Mobility impaired employees should be of first concern in case of emergency evacuation. People using wheelchairs or with other obvious mobility issues come immediately to mind; but, there are many who may not appear to have a disability, but will require some special assistance. Permanent conditions such as arthritis or temporary conditions such as a sprained ankle or a broken leg can limit one's ability to evacuate quickly and safely during an emergency. People suffering from heart disease, emphysema, asthma, or pregnancy might need assistance when moving down the many flights of stairs. You need to keep the needs of the disabled uppermost in your minds while thinking about the ways and means to be utilized for emergency evacuation.

    End words

    Something else that is important and which is very much a part of safety considerations for disabled employees is that every staff should be ready to accept the disabled employees with equality. Proper instructions and specific information regarding the safety issues of the disabled employees should be provided to the management and staff. Disability equality training is advisable for all, and it allows them to embrace diversity in workspace.

    While the employer is required to make reasonable changes to his work place, the employee himself is also equally responsible for his health and safety. He should abide by the health and safety rules given by the company. It also his duty to ensure that his condition does not become a hindrance to others.

  • ADA, Title 24, The Americans with Disabilities Act

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law 23 years ago today. ADA provides civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities and ensures equal opportunity in employment; public accommodations; public transportation; state and local government services; and telecommunications.USAVisit Disability.gov for information on disability programs and services throughout the nation. Disability.gov links to resources from federal, state, and local government; academic institutions; and nonprofit organizations.  Continue reading

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