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Winchester School of Art Library: Health and Safety for People with Disabilities at WSA

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Wheel Chair Users

  • If you have already agreed a Personal Emergency Egress Plan (PEEP) for areas of the building you normally visit/occupy then you should continue to use it.
  • If you are not familiar with the building and/or do not have a pre arranged plan the procedures below for each library should be followed.

Health and safety for people with disabilities – WSA

All users with disabilities should have a PEEP (Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan).
In the event of a fire alarm sounding you should take the action agreed in your PEEP.
If you can self-evacuate from your wheelchair, or can move slowly unassisted then you should make your way to the nearest emergency staircase but do not attempt to descend until the main body of persons has passed as others trying to pass may cause a hazard for you. When the area is clear you should descend and proceed to the Assembly Area as quickly as you can manage in safety. There are five exits spread between Libraries 1 and 2 and two fire exits in Library 3 and you should familiarise yourself with these.

The above section also applies to those who might have a temporary mobility impairment i.e. as a result of an accident or sporting injury.

A Fire refuge point is situated at the top of the staircase outside Library 1 in West Side Building. Refuges are fire and smoke protected and you should normally be safe to remain in a refuge area for up to half an hour. If you are directly threatened by the fire (smoke/fumes) or other emergency whilst on the way to or inside a refuge, your first choice should be to try to get to a different refuge space, if it is safe to do so.

If you can self-evacuate from your wheelchair then you are free to use all floors during library opening hours.

If you cannot evacuate from your wheelchair you must agree a PEEP.

At the present time Wheelchair Users who cannot leave their chairs are advised not to come above ground level in West Side Building.

The above information is given to wheel chair users in order that they are aware of the procedures to be followed. If you are a regular user of the library you are advised to contact the Library who will liaise with your School to arrange a PEEP to be developed with your agreement, and to discuss any other needs you may have.

Other users with mobility impairment

Some disabled persons may have limited mobility though they are not wheelchair users.

If you are in this situation you should make your way to the refuge and/or the nearest emergency staircase or other protected area, but do not attempt to descend until the main body of persons has passed as others trying to pass may cause a hazard for you. When the others have cleared the floor and those above, then you should descend and proceed to a final exit point and then to the assembly area as quickly as you can manage in safety.

The above section also applies to those who might have a temporary mobility impairment i.e. as a result of an accident or sporting injury.

Building users with sensory impairments

Those with visual impairments may require additional training on emergency egress routes where these differ from the usual exit routes from the building; if you are or will be a regular user, please contact the Library Disability Co-ordinator.

If you are an occasional building user, and the alarm sounds, please make your way to an exit as directly as possible. If you need assistance, please ask.

Those with hearing impairments: if you are unable to hear the emergency alarms and will be a regular building user, please contact the Library Disability Co-ordinator. If you are likely to be working in areas where you are alone, we may need to look at alternative alarms.

If you have any queries or concerns you should contact your School for clarification.

General Advice for Mobility Impaired Persons

The following advice is based on assessments made of accessibility and egress in times of emergency.  If you have an PEEP use it.  If not, follow advice below, which is specific to wheel chair users and other disabled persons and is at variance to the instructions given to able-bodied members of staff and students.  The advice is given as, in an emergency, a wheel chair user or slow moving person could inhibit passage causing a hazard to themselves and to other people wishing to exit a building quickly.

Specific Advice for Mobility Impaired Persons (without an Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan) using the Safety Lift

If you or your helper is familiar with the building you should leave the affected area by a horizontal route if appropriate or via the Safety Lift.  If you are not familiar with the building or the Safety Lift Procedures the instructions below should be followed. A summary of these procedures are also included on the Health and Safety Visitors Leaflet.

In the event of a fire alarm sound you should request assistance from a colleague or other available person to direct/assist you to the refuges outside of the Safety Lift, these refuges are protected and you should normally be safe to remain in the refuge outside of the lift for up to half an hour. (Fire Service personnel should be on site within ten minutes maximum). Please see Annex 2 for the full Safety Lift Procedure. Please see Annex 3 for the abridged version which is displayed in and around the Safety Lift.

 If you are unable to make your way to the Safety Lift refuges due to fire, smoke, fumes or obstacles there are alternative refuges in the staircases at the opposite end of the building facing Southampton Common. If using these alternative refuges, not connected to the Safety Lift, you should ask the person assisting you to remain with you and for someone to inform the security staff (or directly to the Fire and Rescue Service) of your location.

Unless you are threatened by the fire (or smoke/fumes) or other emergency, you should not attempt or request other persons to carry you down the staircase unless those persons have been trained in the evacuation of the mobility impaired.  The security staff, having been advised of your presence, will, in the event of a real emergency, ascertain from the Fire and Rescue Service whether: you are able to safely remain where you are; or the arrangements for your evacuation.

Other Disabled Users

Some disabled persons may not be restricted to a wheel chair but will have some limited mobility.  If you are in this group you should make your way to the staircase, or other protected area, but not attempt to descend until the main body of persons has passed.  Your limited mobility could cause an accident on the stairs to either yourself or others.  You should discourage any person from taking you on to the stairs until it is safe to do so.

The above section also applies to those who might be temporarily disabled - that is as a result of an accident or sporting injury.



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