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Disabled Man Left Behind In Wheelchair When ATOS Assessment Centre Evacuated During A REAL FIRE

December 4, 2012

I couldn’t believe my eyes last night when I read about what happened to Geoff Meeghan, 32, during a fitness-to-work assessment by ATOS.

The lovely people at Independent Voices sent me the information and asked to publish the results of my disbelief.

I ask my UK readers to share this across all social media, because what happened to Mr Meeghan can never be allowed to happen again.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Richard permalink
    December 4, 2012 11:07 am

    nothing surprises me*
    we live in interesting times!
    bring it all* on!

  2. December 4, 2012 5:51 pm

    It was a fire ALARM and the Atos behaviour was disgusting but it was NOT a real fire. ATOS and the DWP are known for their wild inaccurate statements. We must ensure that we maintain our integrity by being 100% accurate when making public statements.

  3. samedifference1 permalink*
    December 4, 2012 5:59 pm

    Mark My Words- if you read my piece and this: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/disabled-man-abandoned-on-the-second-floor-of-building-during-atos-fire-alarm-evacuation-8376322.html You would have seen the quote from Mr Meeghan:

    “It wasn’t a drill. We could see the fire engine arriving outside.”

  4. December 4, 2012 6:15 pm

    We need to be really careful about stories like this. The use of fire-rated refuges in stairwells is an accepted and safe method of managing risk to disabled people in fire situations. What does seem a problem is that it seems the procedure was not properly explained to the claimant. Lack of communication in this kind of situation is unforgivable.

    It is also important to remember that it is building managers, not the fire service, who are responsible for evacuation. If the fire had been severe and it became apparent that the fire-rated refuge would no longer be a safe place, the claimant should have been evacuated using some kind of evacuation chair, which staff should have been trained to use.

    I’m no apologist for Atos or the DWP, but having read the Independent article, I would say we don’t know enough about the incident to know what should have been done. However, it does seem pretty clear that if the procedure was to use the fire-rated refuge as a place of safety pending further information on the severity and proximity of the fire, the ease with which the fire service could extinguish it etc, this should have been properly explained to the claimant, who should have been appropriately reassured.

  5. Dave Tamares-Little permalink
    December 4, 2012 11:17 pm

    Isn’t part of this procedure to have an able bodied person present with the said disabled person / persons in the fire refuge or am I mistaken?

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