AUST – Work Place Safety Assessors advise that the Standard AS 3745-2010 ‘Planning for emergencies in facilities’ includes requirements of building owners and occupants to provide an emergency plan and serves as a best practice standard for ensuring workplace safety in emergency conditions.
Some States such as Queensland already have existing regulations, namely the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 (BFSR), that govern emergency planning and while these take precedence over AS 3745-2010, their intent and objectives are largely the same.
An integral part of emergency planning is the development of the emergency plan, and an emergency plan developed and implemented in accordance with AS 3745-2010 ‘Planning for emergencies in facilities’ is part of the solution to an employer’s responsibility under WHS and OHS legislation to provide a safe work place. Similarly an emergency plan may help protect organisations and persons responsible for a facility or workplace from litigation arising out of the ‘duty of care’ provisions contained in common law.
In accordance with AS 3745, an emergency plan is required to document the emergency response procedures for a facility and detail preparedness, prevention and response activities and include emergency roles, responsibilities, strategies, systems and arrangements.
A facility’s emergency planning committee in association with the facility owners, managers, occupiers and employers are responsible for deciding under AS 3745 which types of emergencies require specific emergency response procedures to be included in the emergency plan.
AS 3745 requires the participating parties in the implementation and maintenance of the emergency plan are the facility’s emergency planning committee, emergency control organisation, management and nominated staff.
Since AS 3745 makes specific provision for ensuring the emergency plan is site-specific, your emergency planning service provider should develop an emergency plan that complies with the requirements of AS 3745 and where required, local legislation by:
- Listening and liaising with key stakeholders
- Familiarising itself with a facility, its people and its processes
- Offering practical and cost effective emergency management solutions, and emergency response procedures.
Your emergency planning provider should also ensure the emergency plan is ‘facility specific’ by considering:
- The size, complexity and features of the facility
- Security systems and arrangements
- The number and type of occupants and visitors
- The hours of occupancy
AS 3745 also specifies the elements (or contents) to be included in an emergency plan which includes, but is not limited to:
- The structure and role of the emergency planning committee
- The fire safety and emergency features of the facility
- The structure of the emergency control organisation
- The types of emergencies identified as being relevant
- Emergency response procedures for ECO personnel and staff including Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for persons with a disability
- Evacuation diagrams
- Training arrangements
- Other information relating to distribution, period of validity, hours of occupancy, date of issue, etc.
Your emergency planning service provider should also ensure each documented emergency plan is structured so that it may be easily amended at any time following an organisational change, alterations to fire safety and emergency features, the identification of a deficiency or a scheduled review.
When a documented emergency plan is supported by an annual training program, a facility’s emergency planning committee is well on its way to meeting the requirements of AS 3745-2010.
Work Health Safety Legislation