2. Reviewing your risk assessment
Risk assessments help employers manage risks caused through work activity and your workplace risk assessment should be regularly reviewed. There is no legal requirement to carry out a separate risk assessment specific to a disabled person. But, if you become aware of a worker or others (for example a visitor) with a disability, you should review your existing risk assessment to make sure it covers any risk to them.
Disabilities can affect people in very individual ways and can often be supported through workplace adjustments so you should not make assumptions about disabled people or introduce blanket policies.
An unnecessary blanket policy would be banning all workers with the same health condition from doing particular tasks, despite the condition’s symptoms varying greatly in severity from person to person.
Examples of unnecessary and inaccurate assumptions
- ‘If I employ someone with a disability it will be expensive’
- Many of the reasonable adjustments required by equality law do not incur costs
- ‘My driver has lost an arm so they can no longer drive’
- Steering wheels can be modified or replaced (for example with a joystick)
- ‘I can’t employ a deaf person because they can’t be warned of fire’
- Flashing lights can supplement sirens and bells
- ’A person with a mental health condition can’t do a demanding job.’
- People with mental health conditions can be effective in demanding jobs, as long as the risks are managed and they are supported so their role does not become stressful