DDA Access Audit
Arinite can carry out Disable Access Audits to ensure that the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act are met, Approved Documentation of the Building Regulations and “Best Practice”.
Workplace Traffic Routes
The primary legislation controlling access to and egress from – the means to leave or escape – the premises is contained within the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The main legislation giving more detail to controlling the safety of access to and from the workplace is the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The Regulations refer to ‘traffic routes’, relating to pedestrian traffic and specifically to walkways, and their need to be properly organised, suitable for the ‘traffic’ and properly signed. The Regulations also require that the condition of the floors and traffic routes are suitable in terms of being:
- Free from holes, slopes, unevenness or slip hazards.
- Free from obstructions and slip or trip hazards.
- Provided with suitable and sufficient handrails for stairways.
- Built with effective drainage, where necessary.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA)
Since December 1996, companies with over 15 employees have a duty not to treat people less favourably because of their disability. The employer must take reasonable steps such as, adjusting operating procedures and making special arrangements within the workplace to prevent discrimination happening. This is known as the duty of ‘reasonable adjustment’ and is triggered when a disabled person applies for a job and continues throughout his/her employment.
At the same time the DDA made it unlawful for organisations to provide goods, facilities and services to the public and those selling, letting and managing premises to discriminate against disabled people.
From October 1999 the DDA took this one stage further by placing a duty on service providers to make “reasonable adjustments” for disabled people, such as providing extra help or making changes to the way the service is provided. Reasonable adjustments may include;
- Changing practices, policies or procedures which make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use a service.
- Provide auxiliary aids or services that would enable disabled people to use a service i.e. audio tape, sign language interpreter, leaflets/guides, induction loops etc.
- Overcoming physical barriers by providing a service by a reasonable alternative method.
From 2004, service providers also have to make reasonable adjustments to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access.
Disabled Access Audits
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 Disabled Discrimination Act 1995.
The purpose of our Access Audit is to establish how well a particular building performs in terms of access and ease of use by a wide range of potential users, including people with mobility and sensory impairments. The Audit gives a snapshot of a building at any point in its life, highlighting areas for improvement thereby making it an essential tool in producing an Access Action Plan. Using a series of checklists the Auditor will follow a journey sequence specifically looking at:
- Approaches to the property.
- Access points into the property.
- Movement around the premises both horizontally and vertically.
- Disabled amenities such as WCs.
- Means of escape including special evacuation strategies.
- Building management.
Our Audit report highlights non-compliance and make recommendations with regard to the Disability Discrimination Act, Approved Documentation of the Building Regulations and “Best Practice”.
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