Due to seizures and other healthproblems it can cause, epilepsy may present a problem once anaffected person desires to find a job. Since all people who work at acertain post need to be protected from possible work-induced dangers,employers may not want to risk getting persecuted for injuries atwork that an epileptic might undergo.
However, through adequate safetymeasures and job restrictions, people with epilepsy can work withoutproblems, not jeopardizing anyone and being productive and creativeat their working post.
Job and Epilepsy Relation
According to the Health and Safety atWork Act from 1974, all employers are in obligation to provide theirworkers a workplace which is completely safe, preventing any injuriesor health complications from affecting their employees.
Yet, the responsibility is notcompletely dependent on the employers. Rather, the employees need totake responsibility of their own actions and do their best to stayhealthy and safe, following the rules of their workplace and stayingaway from potentially dangerous situations. Therefore, all epilepticsare legally obliged to inform their coworkers and employers abouttheir condition.
Due to the possible dangerous outcomesof epileptic seizures, these people are not allowed to work atunprotected heights or near open water. Furthermore, they are notallowed to get in touch with electricity, especially the high voltageone, or spend time among moving vehicles while working. Additionally,epileptics should not handle fire, ovens or hot items at theirworking post nor should they be left alone on isolated sites. Allthese situations can have a catastrophic outcome if a seizure startsaffecting the epileptic worker. Therefore, these scenarios are to beavoided at all times.
Once the employer gets acquainted withthe condition of the epileptic employee, he/she needs to assess thisstate of affairs, determining the risks that certain working postscan have. Since all working posts are unique in their own way, theepileptic workers are asked to answer a number of questions relatedto the frequency and types of their seizures, the length of theseoccurrences, the time of day or night when these appear, the recoverytime necessary for one to recuperate from a seizure, the presence orabsence of warning signs or indications of epileptic attacks or thepresence of any fears and doubts that the employee him/herself mighthave.
When the employee answers these formsof questions, his/her condition will be taken into consideration andthe working environment will be controlled and maintained more. Thisdoes not impact the daily work of the employee. However, it helpsthe employer rest assured that the chances of some health problemsare reduced to a minimum.
Safety Measures for Epilepsy
Some of the possible workplacemodifications which can take place once the assessment is done areprevention of allowing the worker to spend time near hot items suchas stoves or furnaces without assistance. Thus, if the epilepticperson works in a restaurant, he/she will be placed on a foodpreparation post rather than in the kitchen.
Also, taking into consideration thatsome epileptics may have their seizures triggered by computerscreens, these factors should be assessed properly and dealt withadequately. However, such occurrences are really rare and can beprevented through installation or usage of anti-glare screens.
While spending time at home, epilepticpeople should be careful about their seizures, avoiding situationswhich can cause them, assessing the risks themselves.
Yet, in order to maximize yourprotection at home, you are advised to purchase flooring andfurniture which guarantee your safety should you fall on them duringyour seizures. Opt for slip-resistant or cushioned floors and usedsoft furniture free from rough edges or coarse fabrics.
Also, you have to bear in mind that,once you are in the kitchen or once you are handling items which areextremely hot, seizures can lead to accidents which can set fire toyour dwelling. Having seizures while smoking a cigarette can alsocause fires. So, use fire-resistant fabrics in your house and installfire alarms.
As far as the glass surfaces in yourhouse are concerned, there are special types of glass you might optfor, being resistant to force. Alternatively, placing guards onradiators, hot pipes, heaters or some other risky parts of your homecan be an action which reduces chances of injuries due to epilepticattacks to a minimum.
Make sure that the kitchen workstationyou use is a fire-resistant and heat resistant one, along with thehandles of the pots, pans and other items of this type you are using.You can keep your dishes safe if you use a trolley for transferringthem, rather than opting for carrying all these objects in yourhands. Alternatively, you can benefit from purchasing an iron whichturns itself off automatically, once you are done with it. Keep inmind that using tumble dryers and dishwashers is recommended too.
Finally, make sure that the bathroom,the bedroom and all other areas of your home are completely safe foryou once your seizures affect you.
There are many forms of safety measureswhich can be applied both at work and at homes of epilepticindividuals. All these modifications can prevent injuries and otherproblems in case of seizures and are therefore highly recommended.