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How to create Emergency Response Procedures for a safer workplace

1 Jan, 2023

Emergency response planning is simply non-negotiable no matter what kind of business you run. 

Safe Work Australia says any business owner must prepare an emergency plan for their workplace or place of business. That’s where your Emergency Response Procedures come in. This unique set of written instructions tells workers and visitors exactly what to do when faced with an emergency in your facility. 

Not only does creating this important plan help you avoid fines and penalties, but it will also help keep everyone, from visitors to employees, safe. We’ve put together this guide to help you ensure you have the correct procedures in place.

1. Clearly map out all of your evacuation procedures

When it comes to an emergency, there’s no first step more critical than moving staff and visitors to safety. Effective evacuation procedures help you do this as fast as humanly possible. Here are some tips for mapping out your evacuation procedures:

  • Ensure you have clearly designated routes to a safety-assembly area and always keep these areas clear and unobstructed
  • Provide special assistance to individuals with hearing, vision or mobility impairments
  • Create an effective process to count each and every individual, that way you can be confident nobody has gone missing 
  • Ensure your evacuation procedures are reviewed from time to time
  • Ensure your evacuation diagrams are clearly displayed throughout our building. 

 

2. Training can save lives 

Having great emergency procedures doesn’t count for much if your team doesn’t have the right training. It becomes much easier to evacuate people to safety when everyone is clued in on the systems and processes involved. This is why it’s essential that your team is effectively trained in implementing your fire and emergency procedures. It’s also critical to provide specific training to your organisation’s Emergency Control Organisation – the team responsible for certain roles and responsibilities in case of emergency. The entire team should be trained in:

  • The location of evacuation diagrams on the premises 
  • Each of the emergency roles and responsibilities unique to specific team members
  • The use of first attack fire fighting equipment and where to find this throughout the facility. 

First aid training is another important emergency response procedure. It could mean the difference between life, death and serious harm in an emergency. Here are some tips for maximising safety with first aid:

  • Conduct a first aid assessment of the premises
  • Ensure you have trained first aiders on your staff and suitable first aid facilities on the premises
  • Make sure all staff members are aware who the first aid facilitators are, and where to find first aid facilities.

 

3. Update your emergency procedures over time  

Evacuation procedures need maintenance – much like your building!  For most organisations, your circumstances are constantly changing and developing over time. This is why it’s so important to consider how any changes may impact on your emergency procedures.

For example, a change of staff or building upgrades should require you to revisit aspects of your evacuation procedures – whether that impacts the emergency assembly point, the type of fire equipment you’ll need, or who could be administering this.

 

 

4. Don’t forget to test your emergency evacuation procedures

Fire drills are not a waste of time. In fact they’re extremely important and helpful  because they can help inform you as to whether or not your procedures are working correctly. It’s much better to find out any issues during a drill, as opposed to waiting till you’re in an unfortunate situation. Here’s why:

  • Drills help ease panic by creating a more realistic emergency setting. This can help staff to feel that extra bit more comfortable in the event that there’s a true emergency event
  • Drills will help improve your emergency procedures, so you can pinpoint whether there are any missing elements, or ways to improve procedures that you may not have otherwise noticed.

Key resources to help build your fire emergency procedures 

 

Need help upgrading your fire escape plan? 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.