Imperial College has a dedicated Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Centre (EDIC), who are mandated to promote and embed all aspects of equality throughout the College’s communities. The EDIC help to develop policies, training, initiatives and development programmes, many of which are undertaken with input from our equality and diversity staff networks.
Under the Equality Act 2010, Imperial College must ensure that offsite workers with disabilities are not put at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled offsite workers. In order to do this, Imperial College have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to enable those with disabilities to participate in the offsite work if, without such adjustments they would be excluded.
The only exception to this would be if the decision not to make adjustments is based on evidence that it is a proportionate means of meeting a legitimate aim. For example, the costs of the adjustments might prevent the offsite work from taking place, thereby disadvantaging all participants or the research outcomes. Similarly, it might be justifiable to restrict the activities of a disabled participant in whole or part if their safety or the safety of others would be compromised.
It would be advisable to seek specialist advice, e.g., from a relevant medical practitioner, or the College Disabilities Officer before making the decision.
On disclosure of a disability, put control measures in place that supports the offsite worker and the offsite work team. The offsite work leader should liaise with specialists to obtain guidance, advice and support to facilitate adjustments and offer participation where this is reasonably possible
Offsite work leaders should be provided with the appropriate information and training to ensure that they are competent to support any offsite worker with disabilities.
Ensure suitable specialist equipment, as appropriate, is provided for the use of offsite workers with disabilities (see Section on Equipment).
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Consideration should be given, during the process of planning and risk assessing the offsite activity, to the potential for psychological stress on the individual or members of the offsite team.
Individuals react differently to stressful situations; many may appear to thrive on it but few can perform well under severe stress for extended periods of time. Factors that might cause stress during offsite work include, isolation, cultural changes, prolonged activity without sufficient down time, lack of sleep, hostile environment and illness.
It is also important to ensure that workers returning from offsite activities provide feedback on the trip and include any positive or adverse effects they may feel as a result of the trip
Help in assessing the risks and treating or following up on any adverse effects may be obtained from Occupational Health