Are You Response Ready?
If the 2020s have taught us anything, it’s that disaster can strike at any time. You may not expect extenuating circumstances. You can’t foresee a bushfire, earthquake or pandemic. You can’t predict if a dangerous person will enter a school or if the microwave in the staff kitchen will explode.
But you can plan for these situations and get response ready.
Furthermore, it’s a requirement for all Australian workplaces and facilities to have an emergency plan. Part of establishing and maintaining an emergency plan is ensuring it is specific to your facility and distributed to your building’s occupants and visitors. That’s where we can help.
Hendry’s team of industry leaders support you to be response ready, no matter your circumstances.
Table of Contents
Evacuation diagrams are used to circulate information on your emergency plan to your building’s general occupants. You are legally obligated to display evacuation diagrams in your buildings in Queensland or if it is a prescribed building in the Northern Territory. You are also required to display a diagram when a building occupancy permit or fire engineered solution requires it. Additionally, Australian Standard AS.3745 and state-based legislation have specific key requirements for diagrams around your diagram’s location, position, orientation, size, symbols and included elements. Fire Protection Association Australia has summarised these requirements.
It is important that your staff and occupants are familiar with your evacuation diagrams. They should understand what to do in an emergency and how to respond, so they can be response ready. Diagrams include useful information on exits, egress paths and the locations of the evacuation assembly areas.
This may sound basic, and it is. That’s why training and proper displaying of evacuation diagrams are so helpful in an emergency.
Your response folders should support chief and area wardens with easy-to-follow reference guides and procedures. Some of these quick reference guides will be other items on this list. Like response maps or warden duty cards. The specific inclusions of your response folder will depend on your unique needs.
For example, you may find it worth including checklists of people who are occupying or working in your building. This will help your wardens easily check each person is present once assembled at the evacuation assembly area. You can also include emergency contact details, so you can reach out to any missing or injured persons’ families.
A facility’s response maps are designed to be used by the chief warden during an emergency response. Response maps include:
- A breakdown of a site into manageable warden search areas or emergency warning and intercommunication system (EWIS) zones.
- The location of essential service shut-off points for responding emergency services.
- The location of the alternative assembly area or shelter locations.
- Any site-specific hazards.
Additionally, response maps can support your chief warden to hand over to emergency services on their arrival.
Situational visual aids
Situational visual aids help illustrate safety training for your staff and occupants. To go the next mile in your emergency planning, brainstorm and create infographics and charts that can deal with response instructions for specific situations. These aids supply a practical, easy-to-understand guide in the case of an emergency in your building.
These situations can be as broad or minute as you want. Perhaps one of your situational visual aids deals with a step-by-step response during a fire. Perhaps another aid addresses what to do when new restrictions come into immediate effect.
Situation visual aids also make a brilliant training tool and an effective refresher for wardens or staff who need to re-familiarise themselves with a particular process.
Summary charts visualise safety data and information in a way anyone can understand. As a result, relevant personnel can get the information they need at a glance. Thus, remaining response ready. Humans are visual creatures and flipcharts offer an effective method for people to understand and retain vital information in an emergency.
When an emergency occurs in your building, people need to be able to immediately identify emergency wardens. That means dedicated warden hats and safety vests with reflective tape. These items must also reflect the legal requirements outlined in AS3745.
Additionally, you should think through whether any other equipment would be useful to your wardens. Torches? First aid kits? Checklists and pens? Think about where you can train wardens to keep these items for easy access during an emergency.
Warden duty cards
Warden duty cards give wardens a summary of their role and responsibilities during an emergency. Much like how people can forget how to administer an EpiPen in the moment, wardens may need a quick reminder of what they need to do. This can help prompt them of their training and boost them into action.
When you get support from Hendry, we send quarterly check-in emails to your wardens to ensure you have a current and complete record of your building’s wardens.
Get response ready
This is by no means a complete list, but it’s a start.
One of Hendry’s key emergency planning services is response readiness. So, we know how to prepare for disasters and follow regulatory requirements. When you engage our experts for this service, we ensure your emergency plans and procedures are tailored to your organisation and that they work in a real-life scenario.
If you need any support during your emergency planning or training, you can reach out to Hendry’s Emergency Planning Team.