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Moving your business to premises with narrow stairs? Read this before your employees hurt themselves!

by , 14 May 2013
The 'Beeb', as the BBC's affectionately known in the UK, has just renovated its BBC newsroom. Unfortunately, this newly 'glassed in' news room means the employees' every action is caught on screen during live broadcasts, which is making them anxious. But worse than this, the renovations have been criticised by staff over health and safety concerns due to the extremely narrow staircase. Here're two ways to keep your employees safe if there's a staircase in your workplace...

 
Falls from working at height are the single biggest cause of deaths and one of the main causes of injury in the workplace, says FSPBusiness.
 
But it's not just ladders or scaffolding that puts your employees' health and safety at risk.
 
In fact, the BBC's glass New Broadcasting House in the UK's being criticised after a £1 billion revamp, says TheGuardian.
 
The reason? 
 
The building's dramatic spiral staircases, which are a spectacular feature of the newsroom that sits in an atrium stretching up 11 floors, are only wide enough for one person to go up or down, which has made fire drills problematic, explains TheGuardian
 
Regular fire drill practices are the best way to ensure employees will be evacuated unharmed if a fire breaks out.
 
You'll need to hold emergency evacuation drills at least once every three months. 
 
Conduct a fire drill evacuation BEFORE moving to your new business premises!
 
This way, the evacuation procedure is top of mind for existing employees and doesn't come as a nasty surprise to new staff members if a fire does break out in the office, says the Health and Safety Bulletin.
 
If you've done a fire drill before, it'll make a fire drill easier to assess in your new building, as you'll have a previous 'evacuation time' to beat.
 
If it takes too long for your employees to get out of the building due to the narrow staircase, there's a greater risk they'll be injured.
 
Here's the best time to perform an emergency preparedness risk assessment…
 
But it's also important  to conduct a risk assessment of your new business premises long before your employees move in – if the stair cases ARE too narrow for a proper fire drill, you'll have time to do something about it, says Miriro Matema, Product Manager of the Health and Safety Training Manual on FSPBusiness.
 
It's the best way to prevent health and safety incidents such as your employees tripping and falling down the stairs as they're so narrow.

Are you doing your risk assessments correctly?

Click here to take a quick quiz to find out if you can handle the DoL hot seat
 


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