Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Disabled People Need Planned Emergency Exits


The legislation of UK has enforced stronger measures in the favour of disabled people’s emergency evacuation processes and measures.

Dailycsr.com – 18 January 2016 – Most often people fail to take into peek of a disabled person’s shoes, especially in emergency situations like in case of a fire evacuation. HSE highlights that nearly eleven million people of UK suffer from disabilities coupled with impairments or “limiting long term illnesses”. These people are very much part of day to day’s life and are present in most of the buildings, therefore the managers or the owners of any property need to pay special heed to plan a “successful evacuation”.
The failure of such precautions puts moral and legal responsibility of an individual at stake. In fact, the increased life expectancy along of the absence of “mandatory retirement age” leads to an ageing workforce. According to HSE the “state pension age” will be extended to 67 instead of 66 from the year of 2026. The data acquired from the “Labour Force Survey” demonstrate an increment of nearly ten percent in the working age group of 65 and above.
Moreover, similar situations are observed for the disabled people as their employment quota are rising quickly given the “changes to disability benefit eligibility”, while HSE writes:
“There are now more than 3.1 million people with disabilities in employment. In 2015, an increase of 141,000 disabled people in work was predicted, equivalent to nearly 400 more every day”.
When the topic of disabled people is being dealt with, most often the issues of “hidden impairments” are ignored as they are not easily detectable. Nevertheless, people with such problems like epilepsy among others may also need assistance in case of emergency.
Keeping the above mentioned point in mind, the legislation came up with “a more nuanced” approach for the house managers and owners. Likewise, the “Regulatory Reform” of fire safety is to “carry out a risk assessment and amend it when there are significant changes”. The assessment will take into consideration the risk related to fire safety of the building whereby the nature of the disabled person who are likely to get affected. The assessment will form the basis on which any “tailored protection” if required will be produced to match a “tolerable degree of risk”,
Furthermore, HSE adds:
“Those in charge of buildings also need to take into account the Equality Act, which makes it clear that, for public access, it is unlawful to treat people with disabilities less favourably than others. The act requires ‘reasonable adjustments’ to be made to policies, procedures and the physical environment”.
Moreover, the 2007 supplementary government guide of “fire safety risk assessment”, under the title of “Means of Escape for Disabled People”, states:
“The safe evacuation of disabled people is a problematic area for policy makers and one that has not received sufficient attention to date.”
Consequently the level of complication involved need to be dealt with care under the guidance of “personal emergency egress plans”, whereby “six key groups of people” have been identified: “staff, contractors, visitors, residents, students and customers”. In fact, the suggested alarm for people with vision and hearing impairment include “raising illumination levels alongexit routes” and “tactile alerters”.
The list of “Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting” enumerates areas that are considered to be of “high risk”:
“...some task areas in industrial, medical and catering facilities; exit routes; fire safety equipment storage points; refuges; staircases; and reception areas”.
The standards of ICEL commend that the enhance illumination should kick in within “0.5 seconds” of the incidents are “continue for as long as the hazard remains”, as the guide notes:
“This can normally only be achieved by a tungsten or a permanently illuminated maintained fluorescent lamp source”.