People requiring assistance
Information for those who need help, or can offer help, in an emergency evacuation.
If you will need assistance, get planning
Planning is key to safety in an emergency. It is important to familiarise yourself with the building/s you use. Take the time to determine where exits and exit stairwells are located and identify alternative accessible routes. If pre-arranged, a buddy, such as a friend, study companion, or supervisor can be used to assist you in an emergency if necessary.
Visiting a facility such as a library or shared study space?
Inform the front desk or reception area if you will need assistance in an emergency and where you will be. Also, advise them when you leave the building.
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)
Sometimes a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP), which is an individually tailored plan for those who need assistance in evacuating a building to a place of safety may be required. PEEPs may be required by people who have:
- Mobility restrictions
- Vision impairment
- Hearing impairment
- Cognitive impairment
- A medical condition or injury which might cause them to require assistance to evacuate safely
Sometimes the requirement for assistance may be temporary for instance, for someone who has mobility issues due to a leg injury/fracture or someone in the later stages of pregnancy. The key question that determines whether a PEEP is required is “Can the person evacuate a building unaided in a reasonably prompt manner during an emergency situation?” If the answer is “NO” then a PEEP is likely to be required.
How do I get a PEEP?
If you need assistance evacuating a building, even if this is only on a temporary basis, then you need to bring this to the attention of your line manager or academic supervisor. Your line manager/academic supervisor is responsible for working with you to complete your PEEP. You do not need to reveal any personal medical information but we may ask you to discuss in detail your ability to evacuate a building in order to plan appropriate assistance.
Student/employee informs line manager/academic supervisor of their requirement for assistance to evacuate a building in the event of an emergency
Line manager/academic supervisor meets with the student/employee to discuss their requirements and completes a PEEP Assessment form (below) to obtain the relevant information
Line manager/academic supervisor prepares the PEEP (Template and examples below). Health, Safety and Wellbeing team is available for support and advice if required
Line manager/academic supervisor meets with the student/employee to discuss and agree the PEEP
Line manager/academic supervisor:
- Arranges any adaptations required to the workplace or additional equipment required for evacuation
- Liaises with any workers identified or volunteering to provide assistance to ensure they understand their role and receive all necessary instruction and/or training
- Ensures the PEEP is rehearsed to ensure its efficiency
The personal information you provide as part of the PEEP process will be used only to assist you in the event of an emergency, and in accordance with the University Privacy Statements. Your completed PEEP will be shared with your line manager or academic supervisor, with any staff who have been designated to provide you with assistance in the event of an emergency, and with the relevant Building Warden for the building in which you usually work or study. In some cases, other staff who are required to make adaptions or changes to the environment to accommodate your needs may also have access to your PEEP for that limited purpose only.
PEEPs should be reviewed at least annually. More frequent reviews will be required if a person’s conditions or place or work change. Where this results in change to a PEEP then a new rehearsal should be carried out.
Reviews should also be carried out if there is reason to believe that changes are required, for example as a result of a fire drill where the PEEP arrangements have not worked as planned.
If you need to evacuate a building in an emergency, for e.g. a fire, look out for anyone who may need assistance. Ask if they need help to evacuate.
You may also volunteer, be nominated by a warden or listed in a PEEP to assist. It's important you follow their request and any requirements they set.
- If you see someone who appears unaware of the event, please alert them to the situation. They may have a hearing or vision impairment
- Some people may already have a buddy to help or may be able to exit without assistance
- Do not use lifts or attempt to carry people down the stairs
Instructions if you are required to assist
At all times, communicate with the person you are assisting and remain calm. Let them know what is happening and what you are going to do. Be patient and supportive.
Identify the safest and nearest exit and guide the person towards it calmly and at a pace, they can keep up with. Do not use lifts
- Let people who do not need assistance enter the stairwell first
- If you need to go downstairs, guide and do not rush. Allow the person to go at their own pace and stop at intervals if needed
- If you are required to use an evacuation chair, ensure you have received training in its us
- Ensure that you are not holding anyone up. If so, step aside into the next lobby area and allow other occupants to pass. Once the stairway is clear, continue your descent until you exit the building and go to the safe area
If you are deaf, hearing or speech-impaired, you can register for the 111 TXT service: www.police.govt.nz/111-txt.
Other useful links
Last Updated: Feb 2023
Next Review: Feb 2026
Approver: Associate Director, Health Safety & Wellbeing