There may be a point at which a worker cannot do a job safely because of a disability. A worker with an intellectual disability will probably never be qualified to run heavy machinery. But how can you determine when a worker and a job combine to create a significant risk of substantial harm to the worker or to others? How can you determine what those jobs and conditions might be?
When dealing with issues of disability, reasonable accommodation, and nondiscrimination, one of the most critical things you can do is a job analysis. Job analyses identify the essential tasks that a worker must be able to perform to do a job. Work together with your human resources personnel to ensure that job analyses also define what is required for a worker to safely do the job.
Identifying the Job’s Requirements
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) suggests that employers consider these factors when trying to determine whether an individual’s disability or chronic health condition would cause him or her to pose a “direct threat”—a significant risk of substantial harm—to oneself or to others when doing a given job:
- The duration of the risk involved,
- The nature and severity of the potential harm,
- The likelihood the potential harm will occur,
- The imminence of the potential harm, and
- The availability of a reasonable accommodation that might reduce or eliminate the risk.
As an example, the EEOC cites the case of an employee with a hearing impairment who wished to be trained to operate a forklift in a large hardware store. Forklift operators at the store are required, for safety reasons, to be able to communicate with a spotter. The employee requested that a vibrating bracelet be provided as an accommodation. During training, the worker discovered that the bracelet’s vibration was indistinguishable from the forklift’s vibration. Lacking a workable accommodation, the worker was not certified to operate the forklift.
Be Accommodating; Be Safe
Some simple accommodations have made it possible for disabled workers to do things their employers didn’t think possible. BLR® offers a simple accommodation that can help you to do your job even better, too: Safety.BLR.com®.
Ride with Us
Navigate your way through the maze of safety regulations and ever-changing demands of your job to a safer workplace. Safety.BLR.com will provide the road map. And we’ll keep you up to date on all the latest news and views, 24/7, from the comfort and convenience of your own desk.
Whether it’s changes in OSHA requirements, news about innovative safety ideas, guidance for creating effective safety plans, or some other vital safety and health issue, you’ll find it all reported and interpreted for you by our safety experts at Safety.BLR.com.
What’s more, this one-stop safety website is a fantastic resource for safety training materials on just about any topic you can imagine.
Training responsibilities become a snap with the website’s thousands of audio presentations, PowerPoints, prewritten safety meetings, toolbox talks, and much, much more. You’ll find training tools on more than 120 safety topics along with plain-English compliance analysis and other resources.
At a time when budget considerations are paramount, what makes more sense than an all-in-one safety training and compliance solution?
And BLR has revamped Safety.BLR.com to meet your needs even better. You’ll be amazed by all the features and functionality of the site. Highlights include:
- Side-by-Side State/Federal Compliance. By placing our state and federal regulatory analysis side by side, you easily see how to fully comply with both governmental entities.
- MSDS Library Expansion. The site now provides an immense library of 3.5 million MSDS and SDS forms, with about 10,000 more added or changed every week. Need one? Just call up the chemical by name, manufacturer, product group, or CAS number, then print it out.
- Newsletter Wizard. If you’ve ever wanted to publish a safety newsletter but felt lacking in editorial skills, this new addition is for you.
- Plan Builder. Select from our library of safety plans, customize them to suit your company’s needs, and assemble them into collections you can save in our personal library.
We’re pretty excited about Safety.BLR.com and all of its enhancements, and we’re eager for you to experience it, too. That’s why we’ve created a complimentary site tour, available here. It takes just 5 minutes.
If you like what you see, you’re invited to try the site at no cost and with no obligation. We’ll even give you a complimentary special report for doing so. Go here to take a 5-minute tour of Safety.BLR.com. It may be just what you’re looking for.