Flare up caused by work?

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ktl297
ktl297 Member Posts: 50
Hi,
I have PA which affects all of my joints but mainly my sacro-iliac joint (where it started). For the last few months I have been struggling at work as I sit on the 4th floor and have to go downstairs up to 7 or 8 times a day to interview people on the ground floor. The lift has been breaking down once or twice a week for months and going up and down 4 flights of stairs that many times a day is very painful. I had some time off for Christmas and I haven't been back since. I know that you won't be able to comment on my specific case but is it possible that going up and down the stairs so many times has caused the flare up? I know that when I go back to work I will have to have an interview under the sickness policy as my employers are cracking down on sickness absence and they will be looking for me to explain why I had a flare up and also for assurance that it won't happen regularly. When I was off sick last year I explained in my interview that I had changed meds and the new medication seemed to work better but now I am sure they will think that I am costing them too much... I have suggested that I see Occupational Health and my Manager told me he will arrange it when I get back to work. I have read some stuff about the DDA but I am confused about their rights in terms of dismissing me for sickness? Can you help?

Many thanks.
KT

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  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,570
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi KT

    You sound like you've been having quite a tough time at work. The excess strain on your joints caused by climbing up and down the stairs may well have contributed to your current flare but it's always difficult to say as flares can come of their own accord.

    Under the DDA it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate aginst you because you have a disability (It defines a disabled person as someone with 'a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities'. This would include mobility problems such as climbing stairs). Discrimination includes dismissing you or subjecting you to any other negative treatment.

    Your employer has a duty to you under the DDA to make 'reasonable adjustments' to your working practices and conditions. This includes a work station assessment to check that your working environment meets your needs. Your Occupational Health department should do this for you and generally be helpful and supportive to you. If they are not, contact an Access to Work advisor at your Local Job Centre.

    Our booklet 'Working with Arthritis' explains all this in more detail. It can be downladed from our website or I can post it to you if you send us a private message with your address. You can always ring us on the freephone number if you want to chat to one of us.

    Best wishes

    Val
  • oneday
    oneday Member Posts: 1,434
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    sorry i am interruptting again.....sounds like you work in same hell hole as me!..see yourunion rep...
  • ktl297
    ktl297 Member Posts: 50
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi,
    Thanks for the replies.I had a call yesterday from my manager to say the lift has been condemned and it will be a minimum 12 weeks to put in a new one. He gave me the option of working from a different office when I go back until it is sorted. This seems OK but I am concerned that I will be under a lot of pressure trying to do my job from a different office with none of my team around me and with no equipment or files etc. I am going to call him next week to try to sort it out and make an arrangement to see Occ Health.

    Thanks again,
    KT
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,570
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi KT,

    I wonder whether you've got a copy of our 'working with arthritis' booklet and maybe some general information on PA too?
    If not, just e-mail helplines@arthritiscare.org.uk and we'll send you it.

    Guy