Evac+Chair International surveyed visitors at this year’s Health & Safety Event, which ran at the NEC in Birmingham from 9-11 April. with surprising results. Of those visitors questioned, 55% don’t include terrorism within their emergency evacuation plans. Almost 25% believed that they do not have the correct means of escape for everybody with mobility difficulties and 40% stated that fire is the main workplace risk that keeps them awake at night out of all other Health and Safety-related risks.
There were other surprising results from the survey. Interestingly, 72% of individuals questioned identified that the rise in flexible working hours makes it harder for Health and Safety managers to keep track of their workforce in an emergency. Only 11% of those questioned said they had identified changes to the built environment as a Health and Safety risk, while only 10% identified changes to workforce demographics as a risk.
At this year’s show, Evac+Chair International wanted to investigate the new variety and scale of modern-day evacuation risks for which Health and Safety managers now need to cater. The company launched a new campaign at the Health & Safety Event – entitled ‘The Changing Nature of Risk’ – which aims to inform practitioners responsible for Health and Safety in the workplaced of the new, emerging evacuation risks within modern society.
Ian Thompson, sales and marketing director at Evac+Chair International, commented: “With a rapid change to workforces over the past decade, Health and Safety professionals now need to have greater clarity on how every member of the workforce should be made safe during emergency evacuation situations. These survey results are shocking and show that we need to do more to educate Health and Safety managers on the changing nature of risk.”
Thompson continued: “It’s important to identify and plan for changing scenarios. New risks to evacuation procedures, such as an ageing workforce or terrorism, are emerging and many questions are being raised in the industry over whether these risks are being taken seriously enough. Accessibility is an issue that every organisation must address and that brings specific implications for those responsible for Health and Safety practices in buildings.”
The new safety risks emerging within modern day work environments are creating complex evacuation procedures for Health and Safety professionals. The need for correct and reliable evacuation equipment is therefore essential.