Employee Safety: Maintaining and Inspecting Exit Doors


In the event of an emergency that requires evacuation, having clear, unimpeded and well-marked exit routes is one of the single most important requirements to keep people safe. As you work to incorporate the upkeep of exit doors into your organization's daily routine, keep these things in mind:

  • Are exit lights illuminated?
  • Are emergency battery-operated lights fully functional?
  • Are exit doors designed and constructed so that the path of exit travel is obvious and direct?
  • Are windows that could be mistaken for exit doors effectively blocked off by means of barriers or railings?
  • Are exit doors able to be opened from the direction of exit travel without the use of a key, or any special knowledge or effort?
  • Is a revolving, sliding or overhead door prohibited from serving as a required exit door?
  • Where panic hardware is installed on a required exit door, will it allow the door to open by applying a force of 15 pounds (6.80 kilograms) or less in the direction of the exit traffic?
  • Are doors in cold storage rooms provided with an inside release mechanism that will open the door, even if the door is padlocked or otherwise locked on the outside?
  • Where exit doors open directly onto any street, alley or other area where vehicles may be operated, are adequate barriers and warnings provided to prevent employees from stepping into the path of traffic?
  • Are doors that swing in both directions—and are located between rooms where there is frequent traffic on both sides—provided with viewing panels in each door?

Even temporary blockages, for example during goods deliveries or moving furniture, could prove dangerous in the event of an emergency. Please make sure that your exit doors are frequently inspected, that the areas around them are kept clear and that any necessary adjustments are made immediately. If you need assistance with making sure that the exit doors at your facility will operate correctly in the event of an emergency, please contact your Redwoods consultant.


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