Disability and Evacuation

Disability and Evacuation

If you have people with disabilities or who are mobility impaired in your building, would you know what to do in the event of an emergency or the breakout of a fire? If the relevant risk assessments are not in place or you feel your facilities are not suitable, you will be putting them at risk. It is not acceptable to refuse entry to someone with a disability, and it’s certainly not the responsibility of the emergency services when they arrive on the scene to evacuate them. It is the total responsibility of the building manager or business owner to ensure that everyone, including those with a disability or mobility impairment to safely evacuate from the building in the event of an emergency.

 

Evacuation Fire Pan

 

Forming an escape plan should always start with a risk assessment. This document will make recommendations that state what you need and what to provide including evacuation equipment such as evacuation chairs and rescue sheets. The report should also state that training and regular refresher training is also in place so that in a stressful event of an emergency, there are responsible people who are ready and able to assist.

 

Legality

 

Finally, it’s important to know that the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005 is the current UK legislation for fire safety, clearly stating specific requirements that if ignored will put you in breach of the equality act of 2010 which states that “All businesses are required to ensure that their premises are accessible to persons who have mobility impairments.”

This means that if you are an employer it is your responsibility to adjust and accommodate for people that have a disability. The Equality Act is clear that if you do not take the needs of ALL groups of people into consideration, you may be in breach of legislation and vulnerable to claims of discrimination.

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