Access for the mobility-impaired
15 February 2019
Following the introduction of the Equalities Act (2010), all buildings – from high-rise offices to hotels and shopping centres – must be adapted to be more accessible to those who may be mobility-impaired.
Contrary to common belief, it is not the responsibility of the emergency services to ensure that everyone is safely evacuated from a building. Instead, every building should have a designated ‘responsible person’.
The responsible person should develop and communicate clear plans and procedures to ensure the safe evacuation of a building in the case of an emergency.
People – of differing abilities – enter public buildings every day. Therefore pre-planning is essential to ensure you account for anyone who may need additional assistance evacuating the building – including those with mobility impairments or those who may have been injured as a result of the emergency. If it is a public building these people will usually not be known to you prior to the emergency.
In order to raise awareness of the importance of this forward planning, Evac+Chair is helping share best practice in compliance, testing and training for emergency evacuation. Each year Evac+Chair carries out thousands of free site surveys to help ensure these processes and procedures are fit for purpose. For more information, visit https://www.evacchair.co.uk/