A Scent Filled Season — Allergy Reminder for the End of Year

Posted by Kim Cordingly on December 10, 2015 under Accommodations, Employers | Comments are off for this article

By: Sheryl Grossman, Consultant – Mobility Team

It’s that time again! With all the holiday festivities at the end of the year, we may be tempted to bring in those leftovers, or wear that new perfume, but what may seem like a nice gesture or harmless fun can turn deadly if someone in the workplace is allergic.

If your business has a fragrance-free policy in place, this may be a good time to remind folks about it.

If your business does not currently have a policy, this may be a good time to develop one.

JAN’s publication Accommodation and Compliance Series:
Employees with Fragrance Sensitivity
provides sample policy language to help with this process.

The additional following general policies may be good starting places:

Ensure that all employer controlled spaces are fragrance-free:

  • Remove air fresheners from bathrooms
  • Use only fragrance-free soaps in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Provide hand lotion and hand sanitizer for employee use, ensuring only fragrance-free types are used
  • Ensure frequent and appropriate cleaning of workspaces with fragrance-free/chemical-free cleaners

Ensure that all employer controlled maintenance, repair, and remodeling are fragrance/chemical-free:

  • Use fragrance/chemical-free insecticide/pesticides
  • Use fragrance/chemical-free industrial cleaning agents
  • Use fragrance/chemical-free glues, sealants, waxes, and paints/stains

Ensure that all employer controlled spaces limit or prohibit known food allergens and/or provide appropriate accommodations:

  • Implement a policy restricting certain foods from the workplace
  • Permit extra time during lunch so the employee may go home to eat
  • Permit flexible scheduling so the employee with a food allergy may work when less people are present in the workplace to decrease possible exposure
  • Relocate employee’s workspace to reduce possibility of exposure to offending foods
  • Provide designated, well-ventilated area for all food to be stored, prepared, and eaten

More information regarding accommodating people with fragrance/chemical sensitivities can be found at Accommodation Ideas for Respiratory Disorders.

More information regarding accommodating people with food allergies can be found at Job Accommodations for People with Food Allergies.

Here’s to wishing you all a safe and happy rest of 2015 — from the JAN family!

 

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