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SOAR: Searchable Online Accommodation Resource

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Accommodation Examples

Situation
A clerical employee was having difficulty breathing due to coworker fragrances, and new carpet fumes.
Solution
Coworkers were asked to decrease or eliminate the use of fragrances. The employee was placed in a more enclosed cubicle with an air purification system. It was suggested that the carpet be detoxified or be removed and replaced with a non-toxic floor covering like tile or wood. The time she had to spend out of her office was reduced by altering her communication with coworkers to occur by telephone, email or fax.
Situation
A teacher diagnosed with sick building syndrome was required to attend weekly faculty meetings in the school building. She usually taught class from a portable classroom outside of the building and could not be in the school building for any extended period of time.
Solution
JAN suggested that she use either a speakerphone or PA system from her classroom to listen in and participate in the meetings. She could also be provided with meeting minutes. If she could attempt to attend the meeting in the facility for a brief period of time, the meeting could be held in a room with working windows and an air purifier. She could wear a respirator mask if she felt comfortable doing so.
Situation
A graphic arts professional whose company was in the process of remodeling was having some difficulty working in the building due to paint fumes and construction materials. It was too far into the process to change the products that were being used so the company needed some other way to accommodate.
Solution
The employee was able to work from home on a temporary basis during the remodeling phase of her portion of the building. The employee already had a computer at home so the employer provided all of the necessary software, modem, and a new telephone line to be used for business purposes only. The company also provided a fax machine so the employee could fax materials back and forth between the work-site and her home office. To monitor her work performance, the employee was required to respond to periodically sent emails in a given time period and kept a log of all work completed. The employee attended weekly meetings by speakerphone.
Situation
An outside laborer was having difficulty doing his job due to the fumes from the diesel equipment he was operating. A portion of his time was spent operating heavy equipment while the rest of his time was spent as a laborer. He was better able to function as a laborer as he was not as exposed to the fumes performing laborer functions.
Solution
JAN suggested he consider the use of a respirator mask that will filter out the diesel fumes. If the mask would not be effective, consider either restructuring the job to allow him to function more so as a laborer or consider reassignment to a vacant position he would be qualified for which would accommodate the need to avoid exposure to diesel fumes.
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