“One of our employees, R, has brittle bone disease and uses a customised wheelchair. The building they work in has 6 floors and we occupy the 5th and 6th floors, with R being based on the 5th.
There was an existing evacuation chair in the building, but due to R’s condition, they were unable to use this, and colleagues would carry R down the stairs in the event of an emergency evacuation.
This was far from an ideal situation, and R was understandably concerned about using a standard evac chair given their condition and the fact that their wheelchair would be left in the building if they were evacuated, leaving them immobile.
To address this, we looked for an alternative solution, and contacted Julia and Greg at Swallow EMP to see what options there were. They suggested a few possible options, and arranged to come to our offices in Dublin to meet R and try out the options.
Greg and Julia worked closely with us, and especially R to gain their trust and confidence in the solution being presented. Over the course of a number of visits, they customised a solution for R, using the StairMate SA-S along with a customised ramp to assist in getting R’s wheelchair onto the StairMate.
They delivered full training to 3 employees as a Train the Trainer session, and to a wider group of volunteers who will act as R’s buddies in an emergency evacuation. Coupled with the assurance of annual maintenance visits, Swallow EMP provided a bespoke solution which meant that all our employees can safely evacuate in an emergency, and retain their independence once evacuated.”
Contacted by Health and Safety Advisor, BT Ireland in August 2015. This was another case where the person could not use ‘skid type’ chairs because of the discomfort and causing injury.
What we found
Visited Dublin and spoke to the individual and the line manager to see what the problems were and what would be the ideal outcome. We had taken the SA3 and a platform and took measurements of the wheelchair and put on to the unit but didn’t take to the stairs as further adjustment and fitting required. The person was apprehensive as previous evacuation chair had caused major discomfort. We visited again with the next version and this was almost there but needed one final adjustment. This adjustment was made and the person was then shown how it worked and taken up and down stairs safely and without discomfort.
We supplied an SA3, a Junior Platform, Multi-function clamps and a separate small ramp. This solution safely enables the person to be evacuated safely out of the buisling in an emergency. If the lift is out of action it can also be used for access and egress. We made a few trips to Dublin and enjoyed every trip as the person was a real character and we gave peace of mind that they could be taken out safely. Treated fairly and with dignity. All colleagues trained also found it easier to use than other models and there was no shortage of volunteers!