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Emergency response plans promote accessibility

A process is now in place for creating individual workplace response plans for staff and faculty who may require assistance during an emergency.

“The university is committed to ensuring the well-being of all community members in the event of an emergency,” says Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety will work to create plans addressing barriers that could impede safety for individuals who identify a disability requiring accommodation.”

The individual workplace emergency response plans may include:
• Emergency contact information
• Ways to inform the individual of an emergency
• Types of assistance methods and required assistive devices
• A step-by-step evacuation route and/or procedure and/or an alternate route
• A list of designated emergency support staff

Current staff and faculty can submit a request for a plan through the Human Resources website. Once an information worksheet is submitted a meeting will be arranged for drafting the plan.

Information about the plans will be made available during the orientation process for new staff and faculty. Where hiring processes aren’t initiated through Human Resources, managers are responsible for sharing individual workplace emergency response plan information with their new employees. For employees who are returning to work, individual workplace emergency response plans are incorporated into return to work plans on a case by case basis.

The plans will be reviewed regularly to ensure information remains accurate. However, employees are responsible for informing their supervisors and the Department of Environmental Health and Safety if their work location or circumstances change prior to the next scheduled review date.

The Employment Working Group within the Queen’s accessibility framework developed the new process. The framework was established last year to improve accessibility on campus and ensure compliance with the Ontario government’s Access for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) legislation, which mandates that all public institutions be fully accessible by 2025.

A similar individual emergency response plan process is being explored for students. In the meantime, accessibility issues for students can be addressed by contacting Health, Counselling and Disability Services.

Visit the Human Resources website to request an individual workplace emergency response plan.