Welcome Guest! The IOSH forums are a free resource to both members and non-members. Login or register to use them

Postings made by forum users are personal opinions. IOSH is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any of the information contained in forum postings. Please carefully consider any advice you receive.



Go to last post Go to first unread
#1 Posted : 22 February 2024 08:54:49(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

I’m working at a place with a very strong union. Every other place I’ve worked would not tolerate this


There is a fire exit in a mess room with a push bar that keeps breaking because it’s being used as a thoroughfare, it must be getting hit 100 times a day and keeps breaking.


I want an alarm on it to stop people using it but  there is a dispute over this course of action.

“ It’s not written down anywhere not to use fire exits as thoroughfares” that’s the type of comment we get back. I think the only thing we can do is amend company policy to include such a statement.

I don’t actually see anything in FSO2005 which states they shouldn’t be used – unless anyone knows different?

#2 Posted : 22 February 2024 09:14:44(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

Hello Mersey,

I will share my limited knnowledge in this regard...

Outside access devices are available which enables the fire door to be come an entrance point and be used as such, not just a means of escape.

You hit the nail on the head regarding risk tolerance. It may be that your comapny is happy to keep paying for a new push bar or they are willing to adapt their policy restricting it's use.

Either way, if the prevention measures are robust and are effective, risk of a fire starting is mitigated to an acceptable level.

Good luck.

#3 Posted : 22 February 2024 17:48:30(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

Why do you want to stop people using it?

If it's on a natural route, then maybe it should be a different kind of door.

thanks 1 user thanked Kate for this useful post.
HSSnail on 11/03/2024(UTC)
peter gotch  
#4 Posted : 22 February 2024 19:26:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Hi Mersey

I'm with Kate on this. Just because it happens to ALSO be a fire exit, why shouldn't it be a normal route to get out?

Now, it might be that you need controlled entry so may be a push bar is the wrong method of securing the door.

thanks 1 user thanked peter gotch for this useful post.
HSSnail on 11/03/2024(UTC)
#5 Posted : 23 February 2024 10:54:04(UTC)
Rank: Forum user

One of the biggest issues in getting people to a place of safety is that they might not be familiar with the nearest escape route. I have seen this in drills and at incidents so many times.

But here you have a mess room - so a group of people of an indeterminate size, all using the same space for a short time in the day. Its a receipe for escape route confusion as it might not be their usual place of work.

But in this case, the fire exit route is used 'hundreds of times a day'. Surely that is good news isnt it as many staff will be more aware of the route??? It seems that managing the door openings is the issue here. You might have to put up with panic bolt door furniture depending on numbers of people expected to use it, but its entirely possible to use a type of panic bolt that has an external handle so can be accessed in either direction.

Access control could be used externally if security is an issue, and self closers might be possible to keep annoying drafts down So what is the problem here? I dont get it!!

thanks 2 users thanked Messey for this useful post.
peter gotch on 23/02/2024(UTC), Kate on 23/02/2024(UTC)
#6 Posted : 23 February 2024 11:45:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user

I'm with Messey on this (surprise surprise ha ha).

Seems to me the problem is about the damage caused through abnormal wear and tear and a stronger push bar device is necessary.

Trade unions are not usually difficult but "Custon and Practice" may have been quoted in this instance.

Why is the opening device damaged, is it the way the push bar is being struck.  If so perhaps a simple notice on the door to "Please gently Push the bar to open the door" and ask the trade union for their help.

Push bars are tested by the manufacurer and maybe yours has not been tested for long enough.  Try the supplier to see if they have a more robust Panic Bar device. 

Users browsing this topic
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.