“55% of Health and Safety managers don’t account for terrorism in evacuation plans” reports Evac+Chair survey

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.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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