Anaphylaxis is no stranger to the workplace. The growing numbers of children with peanut and tree nut allergies reaching adulthood now means more and more workplaces are addressing this issue. Occupational Health and Safety Departments, individuals at risk and employers need guidance on managing the at risk of anaphylaxis in the workplace, while being sensitive to the need for privacy. Adults at risk of anaphylaxis need to manage and take responsibility for their own health conditions, however as a small percentage of the population have undiagnosed allergies or others may develop severe allergies later in life, so workplaces, too, need to be aware and prepared.

Quick tips:

  • Be a proactive workplace - join Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia for support, information on management and resources you may need.

  • Be considerate of those with severe food allergy when eating in the workplace i.e.  wash your hands after eating if you have something your colleague is allergic to.

  • Consider placing some general information about severe allergies in work memos, circulars, newsletters, industry publications. You may even want to put a general ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis on the staff notice board.

  • If you sit at a workstation/work desk that belongs to a fellow allergic colleague, don’t eat your food at their desk. Consider their safety.

  • Make a note of Food Allergy Week held in mid May of each year and use the week increase awareness and support in the workplace. 

Special occasions and events 

  • When planning either in-house or off-site events, discuss menu choices and venues with the employees who have food allergies.  You may need to make changes to reduce their risk.

  • For example buffet-style meals  increase the risk of cross-contamination, while seafood restaurants should be avoided if you have an employee with a shellfish allergy and Asian restaurants should be avoided if you have a colleague with a peanut or tree nut allergy.

  • Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia can provide a number of posters and training materials for the workplace.

 Recommended Resources

A3 Posters
- Think FAST
- Anaphylaxis Action Plan
- The Usual Suspects
- Online shop
- Eating out with food allergies

Content updated January 2020


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If you are having an allergic reaction follow advice on your ASCIA Action Plan.

If in doubt, give the Anapen® or EpiPen®.

Do not call us for emergency advice.

If you do not have an ASCIA Action Plan and/or an Anapen® or EpiPen® call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.