He says, “In establishments like school and council offices, good intentions originally saw chair operators trained, but this unfortunately was rarely followed up. So it is common to find that evacuation chair operators have not had their training refreshed for anything up to 10 years, if indeed they are still employed by the establishment:
Alistair Bromhead stresses that just because something is rarely used, does not mean a need won’t arise to employ it at some point. An evacuation chair could be required at any time to transport a disabled or heavily pregnant person out of the premises in the event of a fire, a flood or a police alert for example, or if a patron falls ill or is injured.
The Equality Act 2010
With the Equality Act 2010 making it a legal requirement for organisations to allow people of all abilities onto their premises Alistair Bromhead (http://www.abromhead.co.uk) says this means that at any given time, a university, college or school could have a teacher, visitor or student onsite who may be disabled. “The same goes for establishments where you will find members of the public, such as council offices, libraries and leisure centres,” says Alistair.
Evacuation Chair Train the Trainer
Evacuation chair operators should be competent and confident. Leaving gaps of time between training and using the chair in a real life situation may lead to disastrous consequences for everyone involved.
Alistair Bromhead says that ideally, practice sessions in evacuation chair operation should be held at least every three months. “A cost effective way of doing this is to have your own trainers in-house. The IOSH Evacuation Chair Train the Trainer certificate will facilitate this,” he says.
Any organisations interested in arranging an in-house evacuation chair train the trainer course can find out more information by visiting http://www.abromhead.co.uk/