After my last entry about the dreaded Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan which I’m meant to have at work, I kept my head down in the hope that it would just go away. However, a colleague came to see me brandishing the paperwork today.
In it you have to have a designated person who will evacuate with you, plus a backup person. Said person has to meet me at my desk and take me to a designated safe place in the building until everyone else has left, leaving the way clear for us to evacuate, slowly.
I’ve refused to sign it. I’ve worked in this building for 10 years, and in that time I’ve never had a problem getting out. There’s usually someone working in this room with me, but if there is not, I’m still capable of getting out of all emergency exits unassisted. I asked colleagues to be truthful with me and tell me if they felt I slowed them down or put them at risk when assisting me and they said categorically not. One colleague has been a fire warden for some years now and said she’d have sorted something for me a long time ago if she’d thought I was a risk.
But the wheels or bureaucracy run ever onwards and the rising tide that is Health and Safety swirls around us disabled people in an attempt to cut us off from the dry land of common sense.
I know that I’m safe and that I don’t compromise the safety of my colleagues in an emergency but I somewhat doubt that those in the higher echelons at County Hall will see it like that.
Like so many times, I’ll be a commodity, not an individual but I’ll resist as long as I can.