While our thoughts this month are focused on Valentine’s Day, the American Heart Association uses February each year to bring awareness to some pretty grave statistics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack
- Every year about 600,000 Americans die from heart disease
- 1 out of every 4 deaths is a result of heart disease
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
The term “heart disease” refers to several types of heart conditions. The most common type in the United States is coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease). Coronary heart disease can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure, and arrhythmias.
The situation is alarming, but there is good news—heart disease is preventable and controllable. Log on to both the CDC and the American Heart Association Websites for healthy tips and information on how to improve your heart health.
If a heart condition is causing difficulties on the job, consider how job accommodations may be helpful. Job Accommodation Network (JAN) consultants can provide individualized assistance and can be accessed by phone, TTY, relay, e-mail, online chat, Skype, or various social networks. A JAN consultant can provide assistance to employees and employers alike regarding accommodations that might be helpful for various heart conditions that cause limitations in the workplace.
Below are examples of real life accommodation situations and solutions from JAN customers with heart conditions:
A maintenance technician, restricted from working in extreme temperatures, was accommodated with a modified schedule not requiring her to work outside in these conditions.
An individual, who delivered mail in a high-rise office building had high blood pressure and was limited to no lifting and pushing over 25 pounds. The employer provided the individual with a power cart and compact lifting devices to assist with moving materials.
An employee with a heart condition who was unable to walk up more than one flight of stairs asked to be accommodated with a ground floor office. The elevator on the premises was undependable and broke down frequently. This employee was to be accommodated with a ground floor office as soon as one became available. In the meantime, the employee was provided a temporary office space in a seldom used small ground-floor conference area.
See JAN’s Accommodation and Compliance Series: Employees with Heart Conditions, Searchable Online Accommodation Resource: Heart Conditions, Effective Accommodation Practice Series: Heart Conditions, and find valuable contact information from an Organizations list all linked on JAN’s Website.