Occupational Health and KC

General forum for the UK Keratoconus and self-help group members.

Click on the forum name, General Discussion Forum, above.

Moderators: Anne Klepacz, John Smith, Sweet

Jugger
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed 03 Oct 2012 6:16 pm
Keratoconus: Yes, I have KC

Occupational Health and KC

Postby Jugger » Tue 04 Sep 2018 9:25 pm

Hello

Does anyone have any experience of dealing with occupational health in the workplace in terms of helping managing the condition and its effects on your work?

I recently saw the corneal consultant at the hospital where I’m treated for my keratoconus. The consultant said that my condition has deteriorated significantly since he last saw me. I’ve also been having issues with my lenses, such that I’m now having to get one set of my lenses refitted (I use both soft and hard lenses), but getting this done sequentially rather than concurrently. Consequently, I’ve had a lot of visits to the hospital recently, with more to come and have to take time off work to accommodate this.

I’ve had a change in line manager, with my new manager suggesting I may benefit from a referral to occupational health.

In the office I’m based in, we hot desk. I’m always able to get a desk with a screen so I can connect my laptop to it. However, when I travel to one of our other offices, I at times can’t find a screen to use, so just have to work off my laptop. This causes me issues with the strain on my eyes due to the smallness of the screen and the letters. Apart from this, I don’t generally have any issues with the condition and my work.

I’m worried that the referral is not a genuine attempt to help me in my work, but an excuse to find a reason to get rid of me.

I don’t know whether to go ahead with the appointment with occupational health; and if I do, don’t know how honest I should be.

Any thoughts / suggestion from anyone who may have gone through a similar thing would be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks

Jugger

User avatar
Anne Klepacz
Committee
Committee
Posts: 2110
Joined: Sat 20 Mar 2004 5:46 pm
Keratoconus: Yes, I have KC
Vision: Graft(s) and contact lenses

Re: Occupational Health and KC

Postby Anne Klepacz » Thu 06 Sep 2018 7:22 pm

Hi Jugger,
I haven't used occupational health - I'm not sure they existed at the time my vision was at its worst! So I hope you'll get some replies from people who have.
Have you downloaded the two leaflets on keratoconus and work from our home page? You'll find them under 'publications'. And we had a good talk from professional employment advisers at our 2011 conference. You'll find that on YouTube - just put 'keratoconus access to employment' into the search and it will come up. Although it's a few years ago, the issues they raised and the advice they gave are still very relevant.
The Equality Act means all employers should make reasonable adjustments for any employee with a health problem. Providing you with a screen that you can read whichever office you're working from seems a very small adjustment to me.
Good luck.

RedOnion
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu 17 Aug 2017 8:05 am
Keratoconus: Yes, I have KC
Vision: Other

Re: Occupational Health and KC

Postby RedOnion » Thu 06 Sep 2018 10:26 pm

I had to go through occupational health last year and it was a mixed bag. On the whole, they genuinely wanted to help me get back to work (I’m a professional driver!) and they helped get me light duties in the office. On the flip side, they had absolutely no idea about the condition and I feel I could have just made up any answer to their questions, it was really down to me being honest more than anything.

I wouldn’t fear the OH as they should help you out. Depending on the type of work you do, it shouldn’t be too hard to make adjustments etc. I’d say, work with them.

User avatar
John Smith
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1941
Joined: Thu 08 Jan 2004 12:48 am
Keratoconus: Yes, I have KC
Vision: Graft(s) and spectacles
Location: Sidcup, Kent

Re: Occupational Health and KC

Postby John Smith » Mon 17 Sep 2018 8:31 pm

I agree with RedOnion. I generally found the visits with OH when I was at my worst to be very helpful; the best thing they did for me was to note that the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) applied to me. At that point, your legal protection against being "got rid of" improves, and your employer will then be required to make reasonable adjustments (larger screen etc, and in my case a fixed desk not hot desk) to keep you employed.

Just go in to the OH visit with a "I could do this if..." attitude, and I'm sure you'll find it helpful.
John


Return to “General Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 27 guests