Emergency Planning Requirements

Each and every organisation must comply with State based legislation that includes requirements for emergency prevention and planning. The compliance with this legislation is a legal requirement and failing to do so may result in legal ramifications incorporating severe penalties.

Whilst not legally binding, The Australian Standard AS 3745 – 2010 Planning for emergencies in facilities is produced by Standards Australia and is widely accepted throughout industry as the benchmark when it comes to implementing emergency procedures and training within an organisation.

Some of the requirements of 3745-2010 are outined below:

TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
Training requirements are detailed in AS 3745 – 2010 as in the previous standard, however the new standard calls for additional training for occupants and at least one member of the EPC. Training frequency is also further detailed in the new standard.

TRAINING
GENERAL Training shall be conducted-
(a) For at least one member of the EPC, to enable the EPC to competently execute their obligations;
(b) For the ECO, in accordance with Clauses 6.3 and 6.5 of the Standard; and
(c) For facility occupants, in accordance with Clauses 6.4 and 6.5 of the Standard.

The clauses referenced above provide further information as to what is to be covered in the training. You must ensure that your training program is AS 3745 – 2010 compliant.

It is also a requirement that visitors and other workers who may not work at the premises receive information on the emergency procedures and what is required in the event an incident occurs.

FREQUENCY OF TRAINING/REFRESHER TRAINING
The Australian Standard AS 3745 – 2010 also outlines the minimum frequency for training as follows:

ECO (Emergency Control Organisation) Skills Training
Skills training shall be carried out at intervals not greater than 6 months.

General Occupant Skills Training
Skills training shall be carried out at intervals not greater than 12 months.

First Attack Firefighting Skills Training
Skills training shall be conducted at intervals of not greater than 2 years.

Specialist ERT (Emergency Response Team) Skills Training
Where a specialist emergency response team is required, skills training shall be conducted at intervals not greater than 12 months.

Emergency Exercises AS 3745 – 2010 also calls for all areas of the organisation to participate in an emergency exercise at least once in every 12 month period.
Note, there are specific requirements for exemptions for specific occupants where deemed necessary.

Indemnification of the EPC / ECO

There is now a requirement for employers to consider indemnifying members of the ECP and ECO and ensure that the extent of this indemnification be conveyed to persons holding these positions. The ‘act in good faith’ explicit indemnification of wardens in the event of an emergency has been removed and the following has been added for both the EPC and the ECO below.
2.5 INDEMNITY Facility owners, managers, occupiers and employers should obtain professional advice on the level of indemnity provided to EPC members. The EPC members should be advised of the level of indemnity provided. 5.5 INDEMNITY Facility owners, managers, occupiers and employers should obtain professional advice on the level of indemnity provided to ECO members. The ECO members should be advised of the level of indemnity provided. This does not mean that EPC / ECO members are personally liable, however it does allow the option for EPC / ECO members to become personally liable as a result of their actions. It is therefore considered best practice for companies to openly and expressly indemnify members of the EPC / ECO which will encourage voluntary compliance without the fear of liability in the event of an emergency.
AS 3745 – 2010 is very clear that this level of indemnity must be advised to the members of the EPC / ECO. Identification of Wardens The updated standard now allows for a range of coloured apparel that may be used to identify members of the ECO. Whilst the colours have not changed the apparel is no longer restricted to a helmet and / or tabard.

5.8 IDENTIFICATION The members of the ECO shall be identifiable in accordance with the following: (a) ECO members shall be identifiable by the use of coloured apparel that shall be at least one of the following: (a) Helmets. (b) Caps. (c) Hats. (d) Vests. (e) Tabards. (b) Where in-house first aid personnel respond with the ECO, they shall be identified a white cross on a green background (c) Identification apparel should be prominently marked with the wearer’s ECO title (seeNote 3). (d) The type of identification used for each ECO designation shall be consistent throughout the facility.

Emergency Management Plans Section 3 of AS 3745 – 2010 covers the requirements of the Emergency Plan, which must document the organisational arrangements, systems, strategies and procedures relating to the response and management of emergency situations. It also calls for the maintenance and review of the plan. The standard details what provisions are required and the consideration that must be made when producing the plan. For further information on these requirements please contact EMS.

EVACUATION DIAGRAMS


Evacuation diagrams that provide emergency and evacuation information shall be displayed in all facilities in accordance with Clauses3.5.2, 3.5.3, 3.5.4 and 3.5.5. NOTES: 1 Optional elements of the evacuation diagram are given in Clause 3.5.6. 2 Examples of evacuation diagrams are shown in Appendix E.

Number and location
Evacuation diagrams shall be displayed in locations where occupants and visitors are able to view the diagrams. The location within the facility and number of evacuation diagrams shall be determined by the EPC.

Position
The evacuation diagram should be positioned within a zone at a height not less than 1200 mm and not more than 1600 mm above the plane of the finished floor.

Orientation
Individual evacuation diagrams shall have the correct orientation with regard to the direction of egress and its location to the ‘YOU ARE HERE’ point. Where an assembly area diagram is included, the assembly diagram area shall have the same orientation to the rest of the diagram.

Minimum elements

The following shall be included in each evacuation diagram:

(a) A pictorial representation of the floor or area, which shall be at least 200 mm × 150 mm.
(b) The title ‘EVACUATION DIAGRAM’.
(c) The ‘YOU ARE HERE’ location.
(d) The designated exits in the facility, which shall be green.
(e) The following communications equipment, where installed:
(i) Warden intercommunication points (WIPs), which shall be red.
(ii) Manual call points (MCPs), which shall be red and emergency call points (ECPs), which shall be coloured white, or have a black border.
(iii) Main controls/panels for the occupant warning equipment.
(f) Hose reels, which shall be red.
(g) Hydrants, which shall be red.
(h) Extinguishers, which shall be red with an additional appropriate colour as specified in AS/NZS 1841.1.
(i) Fire blankets, which shall be coloured red.
(j) Fire indicator panel (FIP), if provided.
(k) Refuges, if present.
(l) Validity date.
(m) Location of assembly area(s), either stated in words or pictorially represented.
(n) A legend, which shall reflect the symbols used.

Optional elements

The following additional information may be considered by the EPC for inclusion on the evacuation diagram:
(a) Direction of opening of doors on designated exits.
(b) North.
(c) First aid stations and kits (denoted by a white cross on a green background).
(d) Hazardous chemical store.
(e) Spill response kits.
(f) Emergency information. NOTE: For example, emergency telephone numbers, emergency response procedures, fire orders etc.
(g) Warden details.
(h) Paths of travel, coloured green

EMERGENCY COLOUR CODES
A standardised colour code for notification, identification and response activation may be used in the emergency response procedures:
(a) Where colour codes are used for specific emergencies the colours should—
(i) be as shown in Column 2 of Table 4.1; and
(ii) approximate those listed in Table 4.1, either from AS 2700, or the colour settings for printing (see Notes 1, 2 and 3).
(b) For the verbal ‘all clear’ notification, the relevant colour code shall be stated followed by the words ‘ALL CLEAR’.
NOTES: 1 These colour codes are consistent with those used in AS 4083.

The staff at Emergency Management Services are experts in emergency planning and operational management and provide a range of services to assist your business to meet and exceed the requirements of state based legislation and relevant industry standards.

Other services related to Emergency Planning compliance includes:

For more information contact an EMS Consultant today.