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Avoid having a Indonesia boxing stampede by ensuring you meet these five legal obligations regarding the adequate provision of work space

by , 15 July 2013
At least 17 people have been killed in a stampede at a boxing match in Indonesia. The stampede occurred as supporters of the loser started rioting. They started throwing chairs at the winner's supporters, causing people to panic and flee the stadium. There were more than 1,000 people in the arena even though its official capacity was only around 800 people, the BBC reports. The tragedy has cast the light into the issue of overcrowding. As an employer, you must minimise the risks associated with overcrowding as part of staying legally compliant. Here are your five legal obligations regarding the adequate provision of work space you need to adhere to.

The Health and Safety Advisor defines an overcrowded workplace where:

  • There's restricted movement in carrying out daily tasks with the equipment or tools needed to do the work required;
  • Employees feel discomfort working in close proximity to others; or
  • There's the risk of breach of confidentiality.

To ensure that overcrowding doesn't become a health and safety risk to your employees, it's crucial that your workplace is compliant with these five legislations:

Five legal requirements that'll ensure your workplace isn't overcrowded

#1: The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) requires you to create a safe and healthy working environment.

#2: The Environmental Regulations for Workplaces requires you to provide:

  • Sufficient clear and unobstructed work space at every machine.
  • At least 2.25 m2 effective open floor space for each employee working indoors. This space requirement is over and above the leg space under the desk or work station. (The space underneath a desk or work station often doubles as a filing/ storage area which also contributes to results in a lack of sufficient space.)
  • Unimpeded work space to every employee.

#3: The Environmental Regulations for Workplaces (Section 8, Fire precautions and egress) requires you to ensure there are sufficient, wide enough, emergency exit routes and that these routes are not obstructed by desks, equipment or stored items, including waste.

#4: In terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, you must determine the occupancy class of your business as this will guide you to specific building requirements.

#5: Since overcrowding will particularly affect you and your employees in the case of an emergency, the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act says you must comply with the requirements for equipping your business with adequate emergency exit routes.

Complying with these requirements will help you reduce overcrowding in your workplace and provide a safe working environment for your employees.

Get 16 requirements for correct emergency exit routes when you  subscribe to the Health and Safety Advisor

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