The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA is in place to ensure that those people with disabilities have the same safety considerations that every other person does. It also ensures that people with disabilities are allowed the same access and ease of use in buildings and it is important that there are no gaps in your facility's floor plan. In an emergency, these are even more important.
Here are some of the most common oversights in an emergency when it comes to being ADA compliant and how CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Software) can help.
Egress Paths That are Blocked
An egress path needs to be clear of obstacles any time but during an emergency when people are not as calm, it is even more imperative. Make sure that areas such as door entrances are free from obstructions, exit signs are clearly marked, that you have signage that is easy to see, and that corridors are free from clutter and obstacles.
Shelter or refuge areas are often overlooked when it comes to maintenance since it may be an area that is hardly ever used. In an emergency situation however, this room or area needs to be clear of obstacles just like your egress paths. Clutter and obstacles only add to the confusion and chaos during an emergency.
Check Your Evacuation Drills and Plans
Another area that is often overlooked is having clear and concise evacuation plans and having drills periodically. It may cut into your work day but having a drill is the one way that you can find out if there are any kinks that need to be worked out before there is an actual emergency. Take into consideration the actual issues that a person who has a disability may face if they needed to follow an evacuation plan. For instance, is there a ramp for a wheelchair at the exit being used? That is just one thing to look at and a good example of what to address.
While these are just a few things to take under consideration, a good preventative maintenance plan and CMMS will ensure that this work does not pile up on you and is instead, kept ready to be used at any given moment.