What should an employer do when an employee has an allergic reaction at work?

Author: Julie H. Cox

Allergies at work can range from typical sinus and nasal reactions all the way to an anaphylactic reaction. With minor allergic reactions with nasal and sinus symptoms, the employer may want to allow the employee to bring an air purifier system to work or allow the employee time to get allergy shots to prevent future reactions. Good housekeeping should help keep dust to a minimum, and regular inspections should make certain that the building itself is not the concern, such as through mold.

The procedure for more severe allergic reactions (including reactions to food) should be addressed in a written emergency plan. The plan should designate key employees to call emergency responders and emergency contacts, and administer first aid and medical care. An employer should have medical files on employees available with medical questionnaires covering allergies as well as emergency contacts.