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Work Place Health and Safety

Emergency Planning for Business

January 2020

Work Place Health and Safety Series

All businesses in all industries need an Emergency Management Plan (including small business). If not expect to face severe penalties from the regulator. As the extract of the harmonised WHS Regulations outlines below, the requirement is pretty unambiguous.

Safety Business Case

Regulation 43 of the harmonised WHS Regulations mandates that an Emergency Management Plan must contain certain elements, among them:

  • emergency Procedures

  • procedure for notifying emergency services

  • how medical treatment and assistance is to be provided

  • how emergencies are to be coordinated

  • training for workers on how to implement emergency procedures

  • how emergency procedures will be tested and documented

There can be no ‘cut and paste’ solution to developing an emergency plan as the specifics of the site and workplace must be taken into account, such as:

  • size

  • location

  • remoteness from support (medical, fire etc)

  • number of workers

  • composition of workforce

  • nature of works undertaken on site

It is also a requirement to have compliant (see AS 3745:2010 – Planning for Emergencies in Facilities) evacuation procedures, which are clearly displayed in the workplace and reviewed every 12 months or when layout changes occur.

The evacuation procedure should encompass the following:

  • types of emergencies likely to occur

  • process of ensuring safe and quick evacuation of workers and visitors

  • specify routes and assemby areas

  • specify when workers are required to evacuate

  • contact details for emergency services

  • contact details for emergency management staff (fire wardens, first aid officers etc)

  • details of emergency equipment available and its location

  • specific arrangements for assisting hearing, vision or mobility impaired individuals

  • process for accounting for all persons in the workplace at time of incident

It is generally the role of the Emergency Planning Committee (EPC), which is comprised of senior managers and Health and Safety Representatives (HSR), to develop and maintain the Emergency Management Plan. This can sometimes be a daunting prospect for people without a background in fire safety or emergency planning.

Generally the process applied shold look something like this:

  • identify and assess workplace hazards

  • consider external hazards that may impact workplace

  • consult with local emergency services to ensure your plan is consistent

  • determine the controls to put in place to manage emergencies

  • document the emergency Management Plan

  • training workers in the emergency Management Plan

  • review your Emergency Management Plan

Intrinsic Safety Training can provide assistance in all aspects of emergency management in the workplace, whether you have a current plan that requires review or need to establish an emergency management plan we provide an integrated suite of safety solutions to meet your needs and train your workers in all aspects of the emergency management plan.

If you would like to know more or would like our assistance in the areas mentioned check us out at www.intrinsicsafety.com.au or email us at info@intrinsicsafety.com.au

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