Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Shoes Save Lives?



Researchers recently investigated factors that affected evacuation from the WTC during 911:

...The PAR teams identified key risk factors associated with three major outcomes: length of time to initiate evacuation, length of time to complete evacuation, and incidence of injury. WTC evaluation initiation was delayed by lack of awareness and experience in evacuation procedures; making phone calls; seeking out co-workers; and personal concerns about one's own ability (e.g. health and stamina) to descend multiple flights of stairs. Workers also delayed their evacuation because they were waiting for their supervisor's permission to leave. The length of time for the entire evacuation process was lengthened by inappropriate footwear; confusion about where the staircases were located and where they terminated; and periodic congestion on stairs. Injuries were associated most often with physical disabilities (i.e., those with physical disabilities were more likely to be injured during the evacuation process).

The researchers make recommendations that focus on the need for a greater emphasis on emergency preparedness for high-rise workers. Specific measures recommended by PAR team members include mandatory training and drills, such as full-building evacuation drills. PAR team members also suggested that employees keep comfortable footwear and emergency supplies at their desks.

Taken from article on Continuity Central.

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