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10 Top Tips For Supporting an Employee With Epilepsy

By Fiona Burns
27 Mar 2018
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Epilepsy affects around 600,000 UK people, with many living with the condition likely to be classed as disabled, as they are prone to seizures.

Epilepsy Awareness Day was on March 26, so to help highlight what employers must do to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for people with epilepsy, we’ve put together these 10 Top Tips.

1) Gain Knowledge

Speak to the affected employee and find out about how they manage their condition, medication requirements and any side-affects, frequency and warning signs of seizures, and any associated musculoskeletal issues.

2) Find Out About Triggers

If you know what triggers their seizures you can make adjustments to your workplace like temperature, light, stress and computer screens.

3) Understand the Nature of Seizures

This will inform you about providing a safe place for the employee to recover. Find out about recovery time and when/ if medical staff are needed to manage the situation.

4) Care Plan

You should have a care plan is place so you know exactly what to do in the event of a seizure at work.

5) Allocate Storage Space 

You can use this space to store items that maybe needed before and after they have a seizure, such as their care plan, a pillow, blanket and medications. A key should be provided to the line manager and first aiders.

6) Organise Their Environment

Working hours, tasks and the pace of work should all be evaluated to ensure lone working is avoided, driving isn’t required, breaks are given and there is at least one first aider on site at all times.

7) DSE Assessment

You must provide the right equipment such as an LCD screen, a supportive padded chair, wireless headset and a workspace free from hazards.

8) Safety in the Workplace

Ensure their safety. Ideas include introducing a buddy system, reducing the need for them to use the stairs and inform people about their condition and what to do in an emergency.

9) Easy Toilet Access

An accessible loo often provides more space and can reduce the risk of injury. A toilet with a pull cord alarm and a door that can be opened from the outside is ideal.

10) Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)

Complete this plan which details the nearest fire exit route, assistance they will need to get to the fire exit, how they will get down any stairs, whether an evacuation chair is needed and assistance with getting them to the assembly point.

Expert Support

If you require support with making ‘reasonable adjustments’ for an employee our experts can help. We are fully up-to-date with the law and each year we provide advice to hundreds of organisations. Our experts can also help you update your employee documentation and policies & procedures. Call 0808 145 3490 for more information.

About the Author

Fiona Burns

Fiona Burns has practical experience in Health & Safety and Risk Management having worked for major insurer prior to joining Croner.

She has gained extensive helpline experience offering competent advice and timely support to large number of clients, in various industries and at all levels.  Completed the NEBOSH General Certificate, also passed NEBOSH Environmental Diploma Unit A, (IOSH Managing Environmental responsibilities). NEBOSH Fire and Risk Management Certificate, FPA Advance Fire Training, NCRQ Diploma – Distinction currently completing IPD and volunteering for Community project in Atherstone also as a Dementia support worker with CWPT.

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Fiona Burns

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