Many Kiwis with a disability or a health condition that impacts on hearing, visual, cognitive ability or mobility are unable to self-evacuate, and in some instances deaf people may even be unaware of emergency alarms if they are alone at the time of an emergency. Safety First Director Jenny Maxwell recently attended a very informative meeting with Vivian Naylor, a Barrier Free Advisor & Educator with CCS Disability Action Group, regarding the special needs of people who require assistance to leave a building in an emergency scenario.
Do you have sufficient measures in place to ensure all your team are safe?
Building owners, Property Managers and Tenant businesses may be inadvertently discriminating against employees with a disability if they are not providing systems and procedures to assist all their team people evacuate buildings efficiently.
It’s a human rights concern for everyone to be treated equitably, and life and death situations are definitely an important scenario to prepare for. Things to consider include:
Are tenants correctly managing provision for evacuating people who need assistance?
Is there sufficient evacuation equipment available?
Do your Fire Wardens know who in your teams lives with a disability, who is deaf, etc?
Are there clear Evacuation Procedure instructions displayed in your premises?
Does your building have both visual and audio alerting devices which will inform every person to get out in the event of an emergency?
Do you your employees know what they need to do in the event that an evacuation takes place?
Do you invite people to think for others in the team as well as ?
How can you encourage staff to be aware of anyone in the building who may need assistance, and what their needs might be?
If you would like advice and a discussion on your Evacuation Planning procedures, we are here to help.