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Safe Access and Egress by Emma-Jane Murphy, SHEQ Advisor, KTL.

“Whether working on a site or in an office, it is important to have access to areas where a task needs to be performed.

Access may be hampered due to the poor design of access points or poor housekeeping.

Problems with proper access and or egress may present themselves when completing works.”

“It is important to have adequate safety procedures, appropriate planning and sufficient design criteria in place to allow for safe and easy access to and from a worksite.”


A means of access must be sufficient for the tasks that need to be completed. If a task is to take place at an elevated location, then a means to reach that height must be available and safe for use.

Common means of access are listed:

  • Stairs

  • Walkways and passages

  • Gangways


Egress relates to a means of leaving a place. For egress at work, it is necessary for the work area to be laid out with proper egresses to allow individuals to leave the location quickly in case of an emergency. For emergency egress, the following points are of importance.

  • Exit routes

  • Adequate lighting

  • Evacuation plan

Access and Egress

Guidance that can help reduce the number of incidents pertaining to egress and access include:

  • Keep all stairs and walkways clear of debris and clean of slippery substances such as: ice, water, oil and grease

  • Passageways should be clear of tools, equipment, and other materials

  • Walkways and stairs should be used when present; safety should not be jeopardized to save time

For more information go to:

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