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#1 Posted : 06 October 2000 10:19:00(UTC)
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Posted By Jim Walker
We are re-designing the layout of an open plan office. I’ve been asked to advise on several aspects, such a occupant density, fire escapes etc. Checking HSE “Fire safety – an employers guide”, I note that corridors should generally be 1metre wide, although wheel chair users will need a width of 1.2 metres.
At present we have no employees who are wheel chair users. If we were to design corridors at less than 1.2 metres and subsequently had a wheel chair user apply for a job, they would have to be turned down as the building is not suitable (safe) for them. This would of course be an offence under employment of disabled persons legislation.
In my case, this is not a problem as the layout could easily be altered, but for fixed features my argument suggests that 1.2 metres is a minimum width for corridors.
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#2 Posted : 07 October 2000 13:17:00(UTC)
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Posted By STEVE BOOTH
THE ESCAPE ROUTE MUST BE WIDE ENOUGH TO ALLOW THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT COULD USE IT TO MOVE FREELY WITHOUT CAUSING A BOTTLENECK.
A WIDTH OF530MM IS CONSIDERED SUFFIECENT TO ALLOW 100 PEOPLE TO PASS SAFELY IN THE MAXIMUM TIME ALLOWED FOR THEM TO ESCAPE.
A MINIMUM WIDTH OF 1070MM IS CONSIDERED THE BASIC STANARD, THIS MAY BE REDUCED TO 756MM IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES.
IF IT IS NOT A PROBLEM TO ALTER THE OFFICE THEN WHY NOT DO IT AND SHOW THAT THE COMPANY DOES NOT HOLD ANY PREDJUDICED TOWARDS THE HANDICAPPED{JUST A THOUGHT}

THERES ALWAYS THE FIRE STATION &HSE FOR MORE INFO .
HOPE THIS IS OF SOME USE

STEVE
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#3 Posted : 07 October 2000 21:49:00(UTC)
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Posted By Stuart Nagle
Jim.

You do not mention if these alterations are structual, requiring any form of consent.

If so, the building regs and planning requirements will I belive require the needs or possible needs of disabled persons to be taken into account.

If the walling is partition type, you may well have to reconsider the layout for persons who are disabled when working or perhaps even visiting your establishment.

I would go for the meeting the requirements of the building/planning regs, as if the structure was covered by these, thus complying with the latest considerations of all persons. This will also of course supply the addition widths to aiding safe escape in an incident, meeting all the necessary criteria.

The only drawback of course is that floor space is reduced. So re-evaluation of floor space per person, desk space, kicking out the office foliage where necessary and half empty or non-utitlised storage is the order of the day.

As such this not only is an exercise in fire/emergency planning, but also extends into the realm of office/accommodation planning. I would also, if one is available that is, consult with an Architect and Building Services Engineer.

Hope this helps...

Best regards...

Stuart Nagle
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