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firesafety101  
#1 Posted : 23 March 2024 12:52:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Hi,  Is it acceptable for a physically disabled person to be allowed to descend a staircase on their bottom (sitting position).  The person is a wheelchair user and her mind is very good and understands everything she is told, physically able above her thighs.  A wheelchair tennis player.

This is a building where she may be accommodated in student accommodation she sees as the best choice for her to study for BSc in her chosen subject, if not allowed she will have to look elsewhere for a UNI that has the right subjects for her.

Thanks.

Messey  
#2 Posted : 23 March 2024 14:32:03(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Messey

I wrote a PEEP and vertical evac policy for my former employer and the person who required help was always central to all decision making. For me, if that is not the case, the system is failing.

As this is student accommodation,  it’s potentially going to throw up a few curved balls.  Are there staff (perhaps security?) to assist? Can she be accommodated on a lower floor? What is the history of malicious alarm actuations?  Would it be possible for her to demonstrate her plan in person? (Or is it too far away from her home address?)

As well as assessing/proving her fitness, an assessment of the staircase will be required to fine tune the PEEP. That might include, consideration of what she will need to wear (shorts maybe?) at a 3am summer evacuation - and how long it would take her to put them on? Plus how does she move from the bottom of the stairs without a chair? Maybe an evac chair could be used at this point? Maybe she could have her own assembly point closer to the building?

But IMO, a PEEP does not originate from a supermarket with pre-made evacuation plans, in carry home boxes, it has to be supplied from a PEEP workshop and be bespoke, made to measure to fit the customer precisely

Many RPs are a little nervous about novel PEEP ideas, but I hope a University will have the competence to apply flexibility to agree a set of adjustments. It would be just awful if she had to miss her chosen course due to a jobsworth.

You need to be flexible and pragmatic too, but its most definitely very likely 

Good luck 

thanks 1 user thanked Messey for this useful post.
peter gotch on 23/03/2024(UTC)
peter gotch  
#3 Posted : 23 March 2024 15:18:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

I would like to hope that a modern Uni would offer such a person accommodation on the Ground Floor.

Fully understand that for perhaps concerns about security this person MIGHT wish to have a room upstairs, at which point the PEEP needs to consider all the circumstances.

....and of course it might not be modern student accommodation and possibly none of the bedrooms are on the Ground Floor.

firesafety101  
#4 Posted : 24 March 2024 12:36:55(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Messey and Peter thank you.

The PEEP written by the Uni does not mention 'bumming' down stairs but IMO it can be amended to be included.  Nobody thought of it at the time.

The decision was made by the local FRS who attended the UNI to review their PEEPS.  (Not a bad thing as it has uncovered some questionable stuff).

I'll be speaking with the FRS tomorrow.

The accommodation looks reletavely modern but no sign of a Refuge and we think there is no accommodation on ground floor.

I will ask if there is a "Stay Put Policy".

She can walk short distances so some kind of transport would be needed but not for her desired accommodation block.

Messey  
#5 Posted : 24 March 2024 16:19:01(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Messey

But was the PEEP written by the Uni compiled after discussions with the young women concerned? This document below was written a while ago. It meantions the DDA throughout which of course has been replaced by the Equality Act.  But this document still available as HMG evacuation guidance. 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5ec5401ee90e0754d1dedf20/9446_Means_of_Escape_v2_.pdf

Have a look from page 18, but most importantly, for the second paragraph on P19 where it specifically mentions "moving downstairs on their bottom" (slightly more refined than your 'bumming' verb - which I thought meant something else!!!!) Please do use this document if the FRA get all jobsworthy.  My main anxieties - as I mentioned before - is protecting her skin and dignity when bumping down the stairs, and what happens to her at the foot of the staircase - how does she move from there I really hope it works out for her and if it doesnt, it fails for sound reasons

thanks 2 users thanked Messey for this useful post.
firesafety101 on 25/03/2024(UTC), peter gotch on 25/03/2024(UTC)
firesafety101  
#6 Posted : 25 March 2024 11:00:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Messey, you're a STAR, I have that document and should have looked at it myself, I have now.  Not sure what was in your head initially though ha ha

thanks 1 user thanked firesafety101 for this useful post.
peter gotch on 25/03/2024(UTC)
firesafety101  
#7 Posted : 26 March 2024 16:20:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

I'm getting somewhere with this now having spoke with the Accommodation team at the Uni and the Fire and Rescue service.

The officer from the FRS fire protection department (another fancy name), has called me this morning after I emailed yesterday.  He explained he was the person who advised the Uni and told me there were many contraventions but not quite enough for issue of a Prohibition notice but he will return in 2 weeks to ensure they have carried out the required work including Evacuation training, Evac. Chairs drills and a few other bits and pieces.

The premises has Refuges on every floor above ground, Fire Wardens, and I think a Stay Put policy for wheelchair users.  Also Porters to assist with disabled person evacuation.  The fire protection officer will return in the next two weeks to check what they have done.

The college H&S team have been in touch with us requesting a meeting by either either Teams or telephone but I prefer face to face.

To be continued:​​​​​​​

By the way I often recommend contacting the local  FRS safety department when there have been questions on here but the response to that has been rather negative as if to say contacting them may cause some trouble.  My recent experience as written above shows they are more than helpful when contacted and quite happy to advise.

A Kurdziel  
#8 Posted : 27 March 2024 09:51:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Does the fire enforcement person really think that the accommodation is so bad  “that use of (those) premises involves or will involve a risk to relevant persons so serious that use of the premises ought to be prohibited”. They are in effect accusing the accommodation of being  a death trap. If it was that bad, then they should have issued an immediate prohibition notice.

Messey  
#9 Posted : 27 March 2024 10:52:51(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Messey

Originally Posted by: firesafety101 Go to Quoted Post

 a Stay Put policy for wheelchair users.  Also Porters to assist with disabled person evacuation.  

That's interesting. I must admit, I have never heard of 'stay put' just for wheelchair users Do you mean a delayed evacuation - the person waits in the refuge for a few minutes whilst Porters arrive?

Or the person stays in the refuge until she hears otherwise? ​​​​​​​I am not saying its wrong, just unusual 

firesafety101  
#10 Posted : 27 March 2024 11:03:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

AK The Fire Protection officer told me it was'nt bad enough for a prohibition notice.

I have visited the premises and it looks great and Annie really wants to go to that Uni because the subjects are right for her.  I wasn't diong a fire safety inspection at the time.

Messey I am assuming (makes an ass of u and me) that she would wait for the Porter or Security to come and help her out althouth if on ground floor she can use the wheelchair to get out herself.

I asked about coming downstairs on her bottom and he said he will have to have a look into that.  He said he considered that for a school but not his decision.

thunderchild  
#11 Posted : 28 March 2024 15:30:32(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
thunderchild

Ok, stupid question.....

....if she is scooting down the stairs, what about everyone else using those stairs at the same time? I am thinking real fire scenario when panic kicks in and they're not thinking about her just themselves? She could get her fingers trod on, accidentally kicked, knocked flying in the panic.....

Connor35037  
#12 Posted : 28 March 2024 16:06:46(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Connor35037

It's often the case that a PEEP will recommend you wait until the main body of people have gone down the stairs before you start evacuating.

thanks 1 user thanked Connor35037 for this useful post.
firesafety101 on 28/03/2024(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#13 Posted : 28 March 2024 16:11:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Don't need a fiire for carnage to ensue https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-68678225

Roundtuit  
#14 Posted : 28 March 2024 16:11:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Don't need a fiire for carnage to ensue https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-68678225

firesafety101  
#15 Posted : 28 March 2024 18:51:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Refuges shoild have an area marked out where a wheelchair user can wait until the main traffic had subsided before evacuating.

I suggest a person who wishes to Bottom down stairs should do similarly before progressing.

firesafety101  
#16 Posted : 01 April 2024 18:51:27(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
firesafety101

Originally Posted by: firesafety101 Go to Quoted Post

AK The Fire Protection officer told me it was'nt bad enough for a prohibition notice.

I have visited the premises and it looks great and she really wants to go to that Uni because the subjects are right for her.  I wasn't diong a fire safety inspection at the time.

Messey I am assuming (makes an ass of u and me) that she would wait for the Porter or Security to come and help her out althouth if on ground floor she can use the wheelchair to get out herself.

I asked about coming downstairs on her bottom and he said he will have to have a look into that.  He said he considered that for a school but not his decision.

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