Thursday, October 2, 2014

Emergency Exits At Work… Are They Safe?

Most people are under the impression that emergency exits at work are always safe and well-maintained. I wish this was true. Many workplace emergency exits aren’t kept up to standard. This isn’t deliberate, but usually a cost-savings oversight.

Here are three things you can do to ensure workplace exits are safe.
1. Lighted exit signs should be in good working order, and have a battery backup in case of a power failure. My best advice is to check these signs as you walk into work and out of work on a monthly basis. Not your job? Schedule yourself to do a visual check anyway and then call maintenance every other month to have them perform the actual checks.
2. Check to see if workplace exits are ADA compatible. Most new buildings already ensure this, but older buildings don’t often have handicap accessible emergency exits. Know where your company stands on the issue and develop a plan to help those with disabilities exit the building safely in the event of an emergency.
3. Doors should be secured to prevent unauthorized entry from the outside, but not to prevent employees from exiting in emergencies. Smokers are notorious for using emergency exits as quick routes to cheat a smoke here and there. These people should be addressed directly and you need to explain that the emergency exit is for emergencies only. Propping a door open while they smoke can allow for a security breach- never good!

I hope these tips help you realize the importance of clearly marked emergency exits at work.

Until tomorrow,

Twyla Garrett

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