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Handrail on stairs

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I have worked as a cleaner for the same Company for 17+ years. The present office is on one level with no stairs. I have been told that tomorrow the office is moving to another premises. From what I c… Read More
nannafish Avatar
9m, 3w agoPosted 9 months, 3 weeks ago
I have worked as a cleaner for the same Company for 17+ years. The present office is on one level with no stairs. I have been told that tomorrow the office is moving to another premises. From what I can see (through the window) this office has 5 stairs up to the kitchen and loo. My problem is that it appears that there is no handrail for these stairs. I have arthritis in both knees and while it doesn't cause a problem with my cleaning I cannot climb stairs without holding on. Does anyone know if legally the Company will need to fix a rail or could I be dismissed as being unable to carry out my job? Any advice please.
nannafish Avatar
9m, 3w agoPosted 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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#1
I would say it would be a reasonable adjustment for them to make, given it is for medical reasons. If in doubt, ACAS have a confidential advice line, 0300 1231100, open 8am-8pm tomorrow
#2
blueberry27, thank you for your help. I hope it won't be necessary but useful to know.
#3
I think you will find that they are obliged to provide a handrail under Health and Safety rules for everyone to use

The HSE Guidance (available to download free at the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l24.pdf) states: “a secure and substantial handrail is to be provided and maintained on at least one side of every staircase except at points where a handrail will obstruct access or egress
#4
mikey_d
I think you will find that they are obliged to provide a handrail under Health and Safety rules for everyone to use
The HSE Guidance (available to download free at the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l24.pdf) states: “a secure and substantial handrail is to be provided and maintained on at least one side of every staircase except at points where a handrail will obstruct access or egress

Apart from any Health and Safety considerations, you will most likely be specifically covered by the Equality Act 2010 in England and the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 in Scotland.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/discrimination/what-are-the-different-types-of-discrimination/duty-to-make-reasonable-adjustments-for-disabled-people/

http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2006/03/07164427/4
#5
Is there no lift in the building. If not as said before there may need to be adjustments made. There would need to be a volunatry risk assessment made as to your working conditions. As for fire regulations it would be recommended that a PEEP personal emergency evacuation plan be made for yourself in the event of a fire evacuation as your condition may be an obstacle for yourself evacuating safely and quickly. Sadly fire evacuations are commonly overlooked in the workplace. Glad my company take it beyond seriously.
#6
Just ask them first. I think it's reasonable for them to assist you given your health concerns. The law in general refers to reasonableness. Gordonc1960 makes a good point.
#7
bigweapon07
Is there no lift in the building. If not as said before there may need to be adjustments made. There would need to be a volunatry risk assessment made as to your working conditions. As for fire regulations it would be recommended that a PEEP personal emergency evacuation plan be made for yourself in the event of a fire evacuation as your condition may be an obstacle for yourself evacuating safely and quickly. Sadly fire evacuations are commonly overlooked in the workplace. Glad my company take it beyond seriously.

Must be a very small lift to go up 5 stairs. :{
#8
Many thanks to all for their help. Have discussed it with the Manager and he is going to ask the Landlord for permission to fix a rail. Don't know how long it will take so in the meantime I am only working on the ground floor.
#9
nannafish
Many thanks to all for their help. Have discussed it with the Manager and he is going to ask the Landlord for permission to fix a rail. Don't know how long it will take so in the meantime I am only working on the ground floor.
good to see your company making changes for you and others.

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