In short, every building, structure or workplace that is, or may be, occupied by people who are engaged for work or are conducting a business must have an Emergency Planning Committee.
Australian Standard 3745-2010 Planning for emergencies in facilities defines the Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) as the persons responsible for the documentation of an emergency plan. The provisions for an Emergency planning Committee are outlined specifically in Section Two of the Standard.
Regardless of the size of your facility, it is a requirement that an Emergency planning Committee that is appropriate for the facility (or facilities) is put in place and those responsible for a facility must ensure that the EPC has adequate resources to enable the development and implementation of the emergency plan.
The EPC is generally responsible for developing, implementing, and managing the emergency plan and the relevant training and procedures. This will usually involve interaction with employees, employers, building owners and will often include an external provider who has experience in this field. Workplace Emergency Management Consultants are all qualified Fire Safety Advisors and can assist your business in this regard.
The size of your EPC will be dependant on your facility. A small business of one will have one EPC member, but all other facilities must have at least two people who oversee the entire emergency plan. Larger facilities tend to have the appropriate mix of facility owners, managers, wardens and employees who form their Emergency Planning Committee. This committee will:
- Develop an emergency plan specific to the facility.
- Ensure the emergency plan is available to all employees
- Ensure the appropriate time, equipment and people is allocated to developing the emergency plan
- Determine the types of events that may cause an emergency situation in that facility
- Establish an emergency control organisation (ECO) to ensure the procedures outlined in the emergency plan are followed with respect to staff awareness, training, testing, and review
- Maintaining a current register of ECO members and ensuring the ECO can operate during periods of absence
- Ensuring visitors are aware of emergency responses
- Identifying shortfalls and implementing improvements to the emergency plan
The Emergency Planning Committee must meet at least once every year. A record of the meeting which will usually include minutes, reports and specialist advice must be retained.
Workplace Emergency Management is perfectly positioned to provide your Emergency Planning Committee with assistance in facilitating your EPC meetings. Our consultants can steer your committee throughout the meeting and ensure all requirements are covered off. During the annual Emergency Planning Committee meeting our consultant will cover:
- Revision of the requirements of an EPC
- A review of your Emergency Control Organisation (ECO)
- A review of your Emergency Plan
- A review of your Emergency Response Procedures
- Discussion around Legislation and how to be Compliant
- A review the facility’s Warden Register
- A review the facility’s Emergency Contact list
- A review of the Training and Exercises
- A review Records and Documentation.
At the conclusion of the meeting, our consultant will provide full minutes of the meeting. Our qualified consultants have experience across businesses of all sizes and are happy to assist in any way possible.
If you require any assistance in establishing an Emergency Planning Committee or an Emergency Plan or if your existing Emergency Planning Committee requires assistance in conducting their annual meeting, Workplace Emergency Management are happy to oblige and would welcome your call at any time.