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Disability Employment Awareness Prompts Changes, Awards

By Christine Torres

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Employers can use this time to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities as well as re-evaluate the working environment with those workers’ skills in mind. Whether you need amplified visual communication or a boost in fall protection programs, use products and services that can efficiently send a message of workplace safety for all of your workers.

The Disability Equality Index (DEI) recently revealed the top-scoring companies deemed “Best Places to Work" in 2017 for making improved efforts in job accommodations and employment of those who have disabilities. Companies such as Northrop Grumman, Pacific Gas and Electric, DuPont and Lockheed Martin were among workplaces that scored 100 percent this year. Some of the effective accommodation solutions that top-scoring companies implemented were amplified floor signage for emergency exit plans, large-print visual aids for training and work area communication, and individualizing training for improvement.

“Northrop Grumman is committed to creating a work environment that values diversity and inclusion and employees with disabilities are an important component of our diverse population,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, Vice President of Global Corporate Responsibility at Northrop Grumman. “We are pleased with our high score on the index” as it “demonstrates our progress in continuing to support our workforce with disabilities.”

“Inclusion of people with disabilities has been a constant in PG&E’s diversity and inclusion approach,” said Heather Hornbrook, PG&E Director of Integrated Disability Management.

Job Accommodations Create Opportunities

There are several simple worksite improvement solutions that employers can practice that benefit all employees. Leverage the experiences of people with disabilities to engineer new ways to connect and engage by taking those workers into account when performing a job hazard analysis. Ensure all employees comprehend what is being taught, regardless of barriers such as language or the inability to read. Visual communication using large-print, pictograms, embossed signage, and the use of various types of mediums and training materials can increase visibility as well as understanding.

mark all emergency equipmentHere are some ways you can enhance visual communication and safety in your workplace:

  • Implement a wayfinding system that includes ADA signs, large visuals, and floor markings
  • Develop an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that includes accommodations for those with specific needs
  • Enhance emergency exits, fire equipment, and first aid kits with reflective and glow-in-the-dark markings
  • Use flashing lights, in addition to signs, for increased visibility where applicable
  • Designate and identify handicap parking, entrances, exits, ramps, and restrooms
  • Apply floor marking signs and tape to clearly mark where vehicles travel and where employees may safely stand or walk
  • Use tread tape on ramps, handrails, and surfaces prone to slipping hazards for added traction
  • Train employees in the areas for which they are responsible at work and provide continued education

Graphic Products Can Help

Make your workplace visual communication stand out with help from our DuraLabel printers, premade labels and signs, and versatile floor marking and wayfinding safety tape. With our label and sign printers, such as the DuraLabel Toro, you can create custom on-demand signage and labels. Use our custom sign service for production assistance with signs to inform people where listening assistance devices are located, where ADA compatible public restrooms are, and more. Grab attention while increasing safety with high-quality PathFinder reflective tape that increases visibility, day and night. Be prepared for a power outage with high-quality PathFinder glow tape, perfect for highlighting egress pathways in low-light situations.

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