Evacuation Procedures for People with Disability
*From Australian Network on Disability
Being an inclusive employer means taking every employee’s needs into consideration when implementing Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) procedures. Procedures for fire and other emergencies should always include provisions for the evacuation of people with disability.
As an employer, it’s your responsibility to make sure all employees are aware of the evacuation procedures in the workplace. Here is what you need to consider in order to ensure your evacuation procedure is inclusive of people with disability.
Always keep in mind, the nature of each person’s disability is unique and the best way to prepare is to discuss and develop evacuation procedures with the individuals.
Appropriate structures need to be put in place to ensure all employees can evacuate in an emergency.
To ensure safe evacuation, a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) should be implemented for each individual with disability.
A PEEP is a practical measure to ensure appropriate, agreed actions are taken for the individual in an emergency. This customised document provides the framework for the planning and provision of emergency evacuation of a person with disability.
It is best practice to plan the assistance required (if any) well before any emergency occurs.
- A fire warden should be nominated for each work area, for example per floor in an office building, or a section of a warehouse or factory.
- A PEEP should be in place for any person with disability requiring assistance to evacuate in an emergency. The fire warden should be aware of any PEEPs in place for people with disability in their work area and have an understanding of the assistance that is required.
- Fire warden to advise emergency personnel (for example, firefighters and police) of the location of people with reduced mobility in refuge areas.
- Evacuation drills should be conducted regularly, including practice for evacuating people with disability.
- Emergency exits should be clearly shown using illuminated exit signs.
- Emergency and evacuation procedures should be clearly displayed on appropriate signage.
*For more information read the full article at Australian Network on Disability