Even though every hospital has an emergency room, each building must also have emergency lights. These lights are independent of any medical emergency but can be vital in the case of a building-wide hazard.
Hospital buildings are unique in their safety requirements. With so many people in one place, combined with specialised equipment, and the storage of chemicals and gases – it is integral to be compliant with building safety standards.
According to the Victorian audit for Occupational Health and Safety Risk in Public Hospitals, 68 percent of public hospital staff who were surveyed stated that they were concerned about being injured at their current job. The Health Services Act 1988 requires that public hospital boards provide ‘effective and accountable risk management systems’ for the benefit of staff and patients.
If hospital safety is your responsibility, you need to invest in sufficient evacuation services today. With an updated system and regular maintenance, you can create a clear pathway for occupants in an emergency.
How do emergency lights work?
Emergency luminaires are designed to illuminate when there is a power outage in a building. This means that every system is connected to a battery or generator that provides power when there is no regular current available. These lights are used in commercial buildings (such as hospitals) as an evacuation pathway during a blackout.
Through careful evacuation planning and maintenance to emergency lighting systems, injuries sustained during an emergency are minimised and general panic is reduced. Hospital lighting systems should be used in tandem with exit signs to ensure minimal confusion and clear instruction in high-risk situations.
Is there a standard for emergency lights in hospitals?
Emergency power and lighting backups plans must be in place inside hospital buildings according to the AS 3009 standard for Emergency Power Supplies in Hospitals. All emergency evacuation lighting systems must be maintained and installed according to the AS 2293.2 standard for Emergency evacuation lighting for buildings.
According to this standard, all emergency luminaries must be inspected every 6 months. During the inspection, a trained technician will test individual lamps and supply replacement globes. The tests will include a 90-minute discharge test wherein a power outage is simulated to review system performance. The second round of testing will occur every 12 months where a technician will inspect and clean fittings and reflective surfaces (as well as each of the 6-monthly test activities.
Maintained emergency lighting systems are a requirement for any functional hospital. With careful compliance to the national safety standards, patients, staff, and visitors will have a clear path through a hazardous environment.
Recommended Safety Measures
According to the Victorian government, regional healthcare workers are most at risk from workplace injury. With alarming industry statistics cited by the Minister for Health, it is clear that more effort needs to be invested in maintaining safe hospitals. Whilst there is a clear patient focus in the Healthcare industry, safe working environments should be paramount for all medical providers.
- The following safety measures should be implemented and maintained in Australian hospitals:
- Emergency light testing (+exit lights)
- Fire protection inspection and testing services
- Risk assessment and protection device accessibility
- Designated fire warden and evacuation plan
- Power outage response plan
- Regular testing and inspection of equipment, power points, cables, and safety switches
- Maintained smoke alarms
- Emergency light maintenance
You can access a range of risk assessment and emergency preparation services with our team here a Jim’s Test & Tag. Contact us today if you have any questions about compliance or our methods for securing your building. Every person deserves a safe working environment.
Energy Efficient Options
Minimising environmental impact and cutting running costs is possible with LED emergency lights. You can ask a technician to update your system upon inspection or choose an energy efficient option upon installation. LED lighting options can last up to five years thus minimising maintenance and replacement costs that escalate with older lighting systems. Fluorescent tubes only last up to 12 months in comparison.
To increase your savings of running costs, you can invest in a backup battery with a high capacity. Even though your lighting system generally isn’t activated until an emergency, the lights need to remain charged through the battery. Quality batteries are designed to last for around 15 years but should always be inspected and tested regularly to verify functionality.
Are you in charge of safety in your building? Contact our team here at Jim’s Test & Tag today. We work with large commercial clients and small businesses on a daily basis.