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Emergency Response Plans – Key to a Safe Workplace

6 Jun, 2019

There are many ways business owners can minimise danger and financial loss in emergencies.

It’s a no-brainer that planning in advance is far more effective than reacting in a moment where everything is spiralling out of control. Experts therefore agree that a well-thought out emergency response plan can mean the difference between safety and disaster. Here is some guidance to assist you in putting together a flawless emergency response plan for your workplace:

What is an emergency response plan?

  • An emergency response plan is a systematically-designed plan that considers all risks to your facility, helping your business navigate an unexpected or dangerous occurrence
  • The plan details the most effective method of evacuation, where shelter can be provided, how to access first aid, and provides the contact details of key emergency personnel
  • The overarching aim of an emergency response plan is to minimise the impact of a disaster on employees, customers and the business.

What are your legal obligations as a business owner?

  • In Australia, emergency response planning is the responsibility of the PCBU (Persons Conducting Business or Undertakings)
  • If you’re operating a business, it’s essential for you to ensure that all people on the premises are carefully accounted for in an emergency
  • If you need more information about your obligations as a business owner, talk to our friendly staff today.

How can you improve your emergency response plan?

1. Identify your internal threats

Considering what risks are involved in your business’ internal operations will help you devise a stronger plan. For example, you will have to strategise accordingly if your business involves more than just Class A – Ordinary Combustibles or contains any of the following:

  • Class B – Flammable liquids, if you have new hazards on site
  • Class C – Flammable gases, if your business begins using new chemicals
  • Class D – Combustible Metals, if you purchase new metal equipment
  • Class E – Electrical Equipment, if you purchase new computers or appliances
  • Class F – Cooking oils and fats, if you extend your premises to contain a kitchen.

2. Identify external threats

Natural disasters, bushfires and floods are out of your control, but you can minimise their impact by paying attention to the weather and exercising caution at times where risks are higher. Here are some key ways to deal with external threats:

  • Check the weather forecast – forecasts can give you days to prepare for events like rain, extreme heat or cold and events like electrical storms, enabling you to take early precautions that ensure safety
  • Have weather procedures in place – Ensuring your fire equipment is on standby, details of emergency assembly points are well known and your staff have been briefed can help cut back on potential weather damage.
  • Conduct property conservation – Damage assessment and clean-up following an incident can minimise the amount of harm caused to assets and help you streamline your emergency procedures for the future.

3. Ensure you have top-notch Evacuation Diagrams

Evacuation diagrams are a crucial element of your emergency response plan, giving your staff clear instruction in a time of chaos. Your diagrams should:

  • Be placed in locations that are easily accessible
  • Depict a clear pathway from the location of the diagram to the exit
  • Be adequately sized and sit at eye level
  • Effectively represent that specs of the buildings, while detailing the exact location of fire safety equipment.

View an example of an effective evacuation diagram created by Fire Block Plans.
Get help if you’re unsure whether your emergency evacuation plan is up to scratch.

Need some help planning your emergency response? Fire Block Plans is here to help you and your team. Our highly-qualified experts will help find a suitable emergency evacuation plan, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.