Job Seeker Question of the Month – September 2020

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“How do I plan for a health crisis at work?”


Seizures, incontinence, anaphylactic shock, hypoglycemia, asthma attacks, panic attacks and so many other health crisis can occur at work. How can you best prepare for them?

Preventative care is your first step. Work with your healthcare provide to identify triggers or risk factors you can minimize while at work. For example, if you need a Personal Care Attendant for toileting, make sure you have a backup plan in case something comes up and your PCA can’t meet you.

Your second step is to work with your supervisor to develop accommodation strategies should you sense an oncoming emergency. For example, if you have a significant food allergy, everyone in the office should be made aware of what foods are not allowed in the office. This can be done while maintaining your confidentiality. If you are prone to panic attacks, you can work with your supervisor to create a safe space you can retreat to when you feel one coming on.

The final step is to provide your employer a written list of instructions to follow in case you are incapacitated. If you have epilepsy, prepare a list of seizure symptoms your co-workers should look for, what they should do and at what point they seek medical attention. If emergency care workers need to know about certain medications you are allergic to, consider wearing a medical alert bracelet.

It is up to you and your supervisor and the Human Resources department to determine how confidential this information is, but the more informed your co-workers are, the more able they will be to help you when a crisis occurs.

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