Recent surveys have highlighted a stark lack of preparation for evacuation procedures in the workplace, particularly for mobility impaired staff.
Following the recent opening of the ‘Shard’ in London, the new tallest office building in Europe, the need to investigate evacuation strategies and equipment in multi-level buildings has increased even further. As cities continue to expand skywards, with 95% of those surveyed working in multi-level buildings, statistics highlight an urgent need to update evacuation procedures, especially for the mobility impaired. Whilst half of those surveyed do possess mobility impairment equipment for times of evacuation, startlingly over half of these do not actually practice with it. Given recent attention focused on the dangers of using lifts during evacuations, this issue becomes ever more important to address.
Mark Wallace, Managing Director of Evac & Chair highlights this crisis. “Emergency evacuation procedures are clearly a stressful time for anyone involved. However for mobility impaired staff it represents an even greater worry. In order to reduce stress, all staff should be fully-trained and competent to help these people to evacuate a building safely and efficiently”.
This is certainly an issue that needs resolving. Surveys show that 62% of staff are unfamiliar with any equipment for safe evacuation of those who are mobility impaired, an extremely worrying statistic. Given that only 57% of companies who have the requisite equipment do not actually employ it in practice situations, it is no wonder that so few people are prepared.
“Practice emergency procedures, whilst an inconvenience, clearly need to be practiced regularly. If staff are not practiced and capable using mobility impairment equipment, then the usefulness of the equipment is completely nullified.”