Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards/Safety devices (Knee, wrist, back braces)


I supervise roughly 15 people in a factory department. Twice in the past six months I have been told to tell an employee that they could not wear their prescription wrist brace and another for their custom fitted back brace. I was told that if they could not work without it that they could not work there. I have to wear a prescription knee brace sometimes or I can not walk without my knees giving out from under me. Can a business do that?

Anthony great question!  A business can do anything they want to do, but it doesn't mean they are correct in what they are doing.  They could be in violation with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  An employer is required to make reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities.  I find it amazing that employers still don't understand their requirements under the act.  If a person was prescribed to wear a wrist brace by a physician and that employee can still perform the vital functions of the job, the employer should accommodate that restriction.  They should review that individuals medical record and make a determination if that employee is performing their job.  If the wrist problem is work related, then it is the employers responsibility to make reasonable accommodations for that work restriction.  In a nutshell, the employer can do anything they choose, but they may be in violation of Federal, state and local laws.  I hope this answered your question, sorry for the delay in the answer.  Thanks

Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards

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Robert Tipton, CSP


I can answer questions regarding OSHA general industry and construction compliance, industrial hygiene, workers compensation, general safety issues, Lockout/Tag-out, Power Press safety, Laser Safety, Ergonomics and Fire safety.


I have worked over 5 years in the insurance industry conducting loss prevention services, worked two years as an OSHA Safety Compliance Officer, over 15 years in manufacturing as a safety professional.

American Society of Safety Professionals ASSE

Bachelor of Science degree in Safety Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania Certified Safety Professional, CSP by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals for over ten years.

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