Complying with national emergency evacuation management standards can be complicated: special planning is required for evacuating people with disability, infants and sick or elderly people. For the buildings, workplaces and facilities in which people with limited mobility live, work or receive treatment, purpose-built equipment – such as emergency evacuation chairs – is essential in order to meet the Australian Standard regulations for planning for emergencies.
Keeping everyone safe in a multi-storey building while also ensuring compliance with these standards doesn’t need to be so complicated. Industry-leading equipment, which is designed to meet specific regulations around emergency evacuation planning for hospitals and facilities, can make compliance far simpler—and keep people with disability far safer.
It’s this focus on simplifying compliance that led EvacuLife to release the Elite Evacuation Chair, which is considered the gold standard in evacuation equipment for people with disability or limited mobility, the elderly and people with medical conditions.
Let’s walk through those requirements to demonstrate how the Elite Evacuation Chair can help you simplify compliance with every requirement under the Australian Standard AS 3745 and AS 4083-2010, which set out regulations for planning for emergencies in all facilities.
Planning for emergencies in facilities: Australian Standard regulations
Emergency evacuation chairs are required under regulation 1.2.24 of the AS 3745, which stipulates that facilities must account for occupants or visitors with disability in evacuation plans. People with disability are defined as requiring a) more time or different forms of communication, compared with other occupants, to respond to an emergency, or b) assistance to respond to an emergency or evacuate from a facility.
So, facilities should hold equipment which, in the event of an emergency evacuation, enables colleagues or carers to efficiently assist people with disability in evacuating the building. This is where evacuation chairs come in. Light and easy to manoeuvre, the EvacuLife Elite Evacuation Chair has been designed to enable a single operator to safely transport individuals who are unable to evacuate via stairs independently.
The chair has features to maximise comfort and safety for individuals with physical disabilities, with a headrest and fastening strap to support a person’s head and neck if required. It also has a four-point harness system that assists in supporting people with low upper body control, and a footrest and restraints for comfort during use and to restrict leg extensions due to spasms.
Due to these unique design features, evacuees can stay in the evacuation chair safely should they need to await assistance in their evacuation in a nominated refuge area. In this way, the EvacuLife Elite Evacuation Chair also satisfies AS 3745 clause 1.4.26 relating to refuges.
Under clause 1.4.25, Personalised Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) are required to account for people requiring assistance to evacuate. Because both the seat and headrest are detachable, and multiple elements are customisable, the EvacuLife Elite Evacuation Chair also enables facilities to create PEEPs for individuals with a wide range of disabilities or conditions.
Finally, and most importantly, emergency evacuation plans for facilities which contain stairs must fulfil regulation 4.2.17 relating to stairway evacuation devices. Under this regulation, multi-storey facilities must account for the evacuation of people who use wheelchairs or who otherwise would need to be carried down the stairway.
Light, safe and easy to move and use for a single operator, the chair has been designed for use in multi-story buildings with a braking system in its rear wheels that blocks forward, backward and rotational movement – even on steep slopes. And, with a special tracked system, the evacuation chair can grip firmly onto stairs for a safe descent.
Ultimately, if you seek to ensure compliance with emergency planning regulations for facilities, the Elite Evacuation Chair from EvacuLife is the ultimate all-in-one solution.