A FEW new additions to campus will make it a safer place for Witsies according to the occupational health and safety office.

The green-and-white emergency assembly point signs can be seen near the Library Lawns and close to the Genmin laboratories on West Campus.

Madeleine Swart, an occupational health and safety (OHS) officer at Wits, says “the Occupational and Safety Act 85 of 1993 states that it is a legal requirement to have assembly points outside buildings”.

The emergency assembly signs were put up after it was pointed out by the Johannesburg fire department that these were lacking at Wits.

“It was a decision taken by the Property and Infrastructure Management Division (PIMD) OHS Office and the Engineering Department Safety Committee,” said Swart about why the signs were only put up recently.

Swart says people will gather at the assembly points during an emergency evacuation. Once  people are at these points, fire marshals for the specific building will check on a register that everyone has evacuated the building.

“The fire department will then know who is missing and where to search for the unaccounted-for persons,” said Swart.

“[The placement] is to minimise the risk of injuries to those people who have evacuated the building.

“One would not place an assembly point next to a 10-storey building that might be burning,” Swart said.

According to Swart, there are already fire drills and training for fire marshals taking place and students are informed of emergency evacuation protocol by induction programmes and during risk assessments.