This site is about risk assessment and disability:
- It suggests how to do risk assessments involving disabled job applicants and employees with a minimum of fuss.
- It provides links to information and financial grants - these help businesses make the sort of workplace adjustments that enable disabled people to enter and stay in work.
What is a risk assessment?
A risk assessment is simply a careful examination of what could harm people and how likely this is to happen, so that employers can weigh up whether or not the steps they have taken are sufficient to comply with health and safety law. Risk assessments can be carried out in five steps.
- Identify the hazards (what, in the work, could cause harm to people).
- Decide who might be harmed and how.
- Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions.
- Record the findings and act on them.
- Review the assessment and update if necessary.
Risk assessment and disability
Step 2 is about ‘who might be harmed’. This means thinking about the workforce, including disabled people.
Some employers worry because they don’t understand disability and think it might get in the way of getting the job done. They fear they might break health and safety law. Some disabled people fear that health and safety might be used as an excuse to exclude them from work opportunities.
There can be concern on both sides. By working together, employers and disabled workers can get to grips with disability and health and safety. The process therefore works best when the employer involves the disabled worker and thinks about their individual circumstances. This helps avoid the following:
- people making assumptions about disabled people which can lead to poor practice or discrimination;
- people hiding an impairment that might have health and safety implications for fear they won’t get or keep a job.
Examples of assumptions
- make sure they manage work risks for everyone;
- take account of disability, avoiding assumptions;
- involve disabled workers in doing risk assessments and making ‘reasonable adjustments’;
- consult others with appropriate expertise where necessary;
- review the situation if necessary, working with the disabled person and/or their representative.