An emergency is any event or situation that poses a threat to human life and requires an immediate and coordinated response. If we think about this statement, we can start to think about all the different types of events or situations that would be an emergency. Some of those emergencies are going to happen internal to your workplace and will therefore require evacuating workers and other occupants to get them safe. This could be due to fire and smoke, gas leak, flooding from burst plumbing or maybe a bomb threat.
An evacuation is that safe and managed movement of people from an area of danger to a safe location. How that actually works depends upon a number of factors including, the type of workplace, the size of the facility, the type of work being done there, the requirements of the occupants of the facility and the nature of the emergency as well.
The way you evacuate from a cruise liner is very different to evacuating from an aircraft, which is different to a full town evacuation in a bushfire and evacuating a multi-level building is different to evacuating a single level building.
Preparation is the key to having a successful evacuation process. You cannot just ‘wing it’ if or when the emergency happens and hope every gets safe. AS 3745:2010 and its amendments provides the requirements for planning for emergencies in facilities. Along with having developed Emergency Plans, Evacuation Diagrams, appropriate ECO’s and training, we also must consider the most effective approach to evacuating your facility.
You need to consider such things as:
- How do you raise the alarm to commence the evacuation?
- Do specific people have a role to play in the evacuation and what is that role,
- What are the safest routes to emergency exits?
- How do you communicate effectively during an evacuation?
- Where are the safe locations (Assembly Areas)?
- What challenges might you face in managing the evacuation,
- Are there occupants with special needs for assistance to evacuate?
- Do you need resources or aids to assist with evacuation?
- Are there shutdown protocols that need to be implemented?
- How do you make sure everyone is accounted for and are safe?
Having a well thought out and risk assessed evacuation plan that is facility specific is imperative to achieving a successful evacuation.
If you want to be emergency evacuation ready, we can help. At Workplace Emergency Management we know the importance of being prepared for an emergency and having effective plans in place for your workplace. Call us today on 02-8883 1694 to discuss how we can support safety in your workplace.