How can I help a colleague with sight loss in an emergency evacuation?

Employers generally deal with evacuation routes, procedures and assembly points during an employee’s induction period.

It is important to ensure that the procedures are available in different formats during induction. For example, having a Word version of the procedures available will allow most users of access technology to read them.

Some blind or partially sighted people will welcome the chance to familiarise themselves with the main routes and practise leaving the building by emergency exits. This is something you should consider arranging with their line manager shortly after their induction.

If a blind or partially sighted person is finding it difficult to learn routes and needs some support, it may be appropriate to allocate a “buddy” to assist them with evacuation until the routes are learned. 

Further information can be found in the Governments Fire Safety Risk Assessment: Means of Escape for Disabled People document - Department of Communities and Local Government, 2007.

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