What Is a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)?
A personal emergency evacuation plan (PEEP) is a dedicated plan for an individual who may require assistance or support to evacuate from the premises in case an emergency arises. While general evacuation plans are designed for all employees, personal emergency evacuation plans specifically focus on individuals who cannot get themselves out of the building unaided.
All employees, owners and managers have a statutory duty to ensure that individuals who use the building or visit it are able to reach a secure space, or a “place of total safety” in case of an emergency, such as a fire outbreak. According to legislation, this is a place that’s “away from the premises” and where employees aren’t at any immediate danger from the effects of the fire.
The PEEP is a customized plan that’s created specifically for individuals who require assistance to leave the building and reach a Place of Total Safety.
Why Is a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) Important?
A personal emergency evacuation plan is important for several reasons. For instance, it allows people who require assistance to discuss the most viable strategies should they need to evacuate in case of an emergency.
More importantly, a PEEP allows other employees or members to know exactly what they have to do in order to evacuate those who require assistance and reach a safe space. A documented PEEP is required for employees who suffer from either a temporary or a permanent disability.
By preparing a PEEP, individuals who require assistance can better discuss their options with those who are tasked with providing assistance in case of an emergency. Employees responsible for giving assistance will know exactly what’s asked of them and will have a clear plan to follow to ensure safety of all employees.
Who Requires a PEEP?
A PEEP is required by anyone who needs assistance to evacuate in case of an emergency. This includes:
- Individuals who suffer from impaired mobility, such as employees who use wheelchairs or those who can’t readily climb up or down staircases, small steps, or move through narrow walkways.
- Individuals who suffer from sensory impairment; those who find it difficult to hear alarms or see visual cues.
- Those who cannot read signage across the building.
- People who suffer from medical issues, such as a heart condition or a respiratory condition that prevents them from using the stairs.
- Individuals who suffer from mental health conditions or a neurological condition.
A PEEP is also necessary for those who suffer from temporary conditions, such as women who are about to reach full-term in their pregnancy, or those who are using crutches due to a broken limb.
Essentially, any person who will require assistance to evacuate to safety in an emergency situation will require a PEEP.
Who Is Responsible for Preparing a PEEP?
Management generally has the responsibility for ensuring the safety of all employees. As a result, preparing a PEEP is their responsibility. The management also has the responsibility for identifying individuals who will require a PEEP and then carry out a thorough assessment.
It is important to note that the management must not rely on any intervention by the Fire and Rescue Services to put the plan into effect.
How to Form a PEEP
Forming a PEEP is a joint effort between the management, the individual who requires assistance, and any advisors. It is necessary for the building manager or the facilities manager to be involved in the process, as they have acute knowledge of the premises in general.
Step 1: The Basic Plan
The first part of the plan is completed with input from the management and the facilities manager. During this stage, the location of the disabled employee is used to determine the best emergency escape option.
Step 2: Input from the Individual
In this stage, the disabled individual provides their input, offering important information about what they think is the best plan for evacuation. If they feel that there are any hindrances in the first plan, they provide amendments.
Step 3: Confirming the Arrangements
In this step, the facilities manager and the safety advisor (if there is one), confirms with the Human Resources department about the necessary arrangements that have been made to ensure the safe evacuation of the employee. This is important for making sure that all parties are informed of the roles they have to play in case of an evacuation.
Step 4: Finalizing the PEEP
Once all parties are on board, the management confirms that:
- The PEEP has been included in the official Fire Manual.
- Any supervisors or responsible managers have been given a copy of the PEEP.
- If there are any fire wardens in the building, they have been informed about the plan and the precise location of the disabled individual.
- Other employees who can offer assistance are informed of the PEEP and know exactly what steps they have to take.
When Should You Review a PEEP?
Ideally, a PEEP should undergo an annual review or when a significant change in a person’s condition is determined. The person is responsible for letting their manager or disability coordinator know about the change in their condition, who will then take appropriate action.
The updated PEEP is then prepared while factoring in any new changes, and the new PEEP is then distributed to relevant individuals.
Manage PEEPs Through the EcoOnline Platform
The EcoOnline Health & Safety Software allows businesses to easily manage the health and safety of their employees. IT is a modular software program that lets businesses prepare evacuation plans, request changes, and manage all relevant data, including event tracking, incident investigations, and a lot more, through a centralized cloud-based platform.