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Building entry and exit

The entry and exit to and from a workplace must be safe. This includes ensuring that workers with special needs or disabilities can safely enter and leave.

The person with management or control of a workplace must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that both the workplace and the means to enter and exit the workplace are without risks to health and safety (see Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), section 20(2)).

Tips

  • Have clearly marked entry and exit areas.
  • Ensure there is an accessible entry for people with a disability.
  • Ensure there is a separate emergency exit.
  • Ensure that emergency exits can be used by people with a disability.

Potential harm

  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Hit by an object

Identified hazards and controls

Entry and exit doorways

Cause

  • Automatic doors that don't open quickly enough on approach.
  • Automatic doors that close too quickly.
  • Doors that open onto walkways.
  • Manual doors that can be too heavy to open or close.

What workers can do

  • Report any safety concerns immediately to your employer through the relevant person.
  • Remember that you have a duty to ensure your actions or omissions do not adversely affect the safety of others (see WHS Act, section 28(b)).

What employers can do

  • For automatic doors, have the door opening speed adjusted so that it matches the normal approach speed.
  • Install power operated doors and gates with safety features to prevent people being struck or trapped when the door closes.
  • Fit doors and gates that open upwards with an effective counter-levering device, such as counterbalance springs, to prevent the door falling.
  • For doors made of glass, place a sticker on the surface as a visual warning to prevent people walking into the door.
  • Fit heavy doors with door-assist systems to make them easier for people to open.
  • Place warning signs next to doors that open outwards or install a viewing window in the door.
  • Mark the footprint or opening pattern of the door on the ground.

Stairs and ramps

Cause

  • Poorly designed with insufficient access for people with a disability.
  • Uneven surfaces.
  • Poor lighting of stairwells or ramps.
  • Obstructions in stairwells or ramps.

What workers can do

  • Recognise and report any hazards immediately to your employer, including broken support rails, water pooling on stairs and blown lights.

What employers can do

  • Ensure the building is accessible to all people.
  • Ensure ramps are constructed to the appropriate code and correct inclination.
  • Consider installing tactile ground surface indicators to warn people with vision impairment that they are approaching a hazard.
  • Provide appropriate lighting of stairways and ramps.
  • Have appropriate support rails in place.

Deliveries

Cause

  • Goods delivered to reception area cause obstruction and clutter of doorways and passageways.

What workers can do

  • Know the preferred postal address for mail delivery when advising clients.
  • Have larger deliveries redirected to another entrance, such as a loading bay.
  • Collect any parcels addressed to you from reception as quickly as possible.

What employers can do

  • Advise reception to contact the addressee and arrange for immediate collection or to have larger deliveries redirected to another entrance, such as a loading bay, if possible.
  • Allocate a specific storage area for deliveries that is away from spaces people use and travel through.
  • Make the postal address for correspondence easily accessible on the website.

More information

Guidance

  • See Ergonomic hazards for more information on physical factors in the environment that may cause musculoskeletal injuries, such as sedentary work and slips, trips and falls, and how to eliminate these hazards.

Legislation

Codes

Page last reviewed: 04 May 2021

Comcare (Office Safety tool)
GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.comcare.gov.au

Date printed 29 Jun 2022

https://www.comcare.gov.au/office-safety-tool/spaces/reception-areas/building-entry-and-exit