Safety

From Mac’s Safety Space: How do you handle?

Hospital Safety Insider, August 23, 2012

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This is a condition/practice I’ve noticed at any number of facilities.

In facilities that have stairwells that go up past the highest occupied floor (generally leading up to some sort of mechanical/penthouse type area), folks have frequently installed a chain across the stairs leading up as a barrier to unauthorized traffic. In one particular, but by no means unique, instance, a “not an exit” sign” was placed on the chain to reinforce that upward travel at that point was for authorized persons only. Now those of you keeping track of the intricacies of NFPA 101 will note that the wording of the sign in question is not in strict compliance with what is required by 7.10.8.1 (a compliant sign would consist of the words “no” and “exit,” with NO written in letters 2 inches high and EXIT written in letters 1 inch high, with the word EXIT being below the word NO.) And interestingly enough, there is a specific performance element in the Joint Commission standards that addresses this (LS.02.01.20 EP #30).

But during a recent survey of the facility in question, the condition noted above generated a finding, though not under EP #30 (it ended up under EP #32, which is sort of the Life Safety Code® general duty clause egress-related bucket), and also included the citation that the chain impedes exiting from the level above. How about them apples!?!

Read on.



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