Health & Safety
The Equality Act 2010 (DEA) is designed to protect people from discrimination in the workplace and in society at large.
The DEA covers a whole range of discrimination including; age, race, religion, sex and disability. The Act has absorbed most of what was in place previously The Disability Discrimination Act 2005. In particular the Act deals with employment of disabled personnel and in the provision of services.
Access Audits are a useful means of assessing the current state of accessibility and usability of buildings by disabled people. Buildings that have been designed or adapted to meet the access needs of people with different disabilities are likely to be more flexible and make it easier for employers and service providers to fulfil their duties under the DEA 2010.
The audit is conducted via a series of visual inspections and observations. Where necessary certain physical parameters were measured to ensure compliance with current Building Regulations (Part M). The audit specifically looks at:
The external environment (approach routes, car parks etc.)
The entrance (access ramps, reception areas)
Moving around inside the building and using facilities (corridors, lifts, WCs, lighting, surfaces etc.)
Building management, (means of escape, good housekeeping)
Health & Safety Risk Assessment and Compliance Audits
Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers, landlords and their agents to assess the risk to the Health and Safety of employees and others who may be affected by their undertakings.
A risk assessment should be completed on all premises, including a visual inspection with note of any physical items likely to cause risk. This should also include a review of the normal practices and procedures undertaken in the building areas and the likely risk associated with such activities.
A review of the statutory requirements, which may in themselves not present a risk to health and safety of personnel of site, should also be considered as a proactive measures to effectively manage health and safety.
An external health and safety audit is the gold standard, in line with the HSE Best Practice Document (HSG65) which specifies an “independent assessment of your safety management systems”.