Changes in Emergency Standards – AS3745
Every organisation has an obligation to comply with health and safety legislation for providing a safe workplace for staff and visitors at all times. This extends to the prevention and management of unforeseen and potentially life threatening emergency situations within the workplace.
Australian Standard 3745:2010 has been developed to provide a uniform code for managing emergency procedures and evacuations in the workplace. Adherence to this standard is not compulsory, but is widely recognised as best practice and the benchmark for developing compliant and effective emergency management programs.
In 2010, Standards Australia released and updated AS 3745, which now supersedes AS3745:2002, Planning for emergencies in facilities. There are some significant changes that may result in additional compliance challenges for organisations and requires updates or changes to your procedures, maps and training programs.
The following outlines a few key differences between AS3745:2002 and AS3745:2010 and organisations should review the new standard to ensure they understand the new requirements.
Emergency Planning Committee (EPC)
- Those responsible for a facility or its occupants shall ensure that the EPC has adequate resources to enable the development and implementation of the emergency plan.
- The EPC is now required to take responsibility for the development, implementation and maintenance of the emergency plan, emergency response procedures and related training.
- EPC should contain at least two members. At least one of these members shall be management and at least one member shall be a competent person.
- The new standard has removed the explicit exemption from liability for wardens as long as they act in ‘good faith’.
- It is now advised that “facility owners, managers, occupiers and employers should obtain professional advice on the level of indemnity provided to EPC (and ECO) members. The EPC and ECO members should be advised of the level of indemnity provided.
Emergency Management Plans
The emergency plan shall include the following additional elements:
- Information on the structure and purpose of the EPC.
- Description of the fire safety and emergency features of the facility.
- The organisational arrangements for the facility.
- Separate sections for the following:
The emergency response procedures (pre-emergency, emergency and post-emergency).
The evacuation diagram.
The EPC nominated validity period for the emergency plan.
The date of issue or amendment date on each page of the emergency plan.
Key elements of emergency plan
New or changed elements include:
- Consideration for communicating with neighbouring facilities.
- The location of the emergency control point (ECP) as well as an alternate ECP to allow for contingencies.
- Inclusion of information and instructions on the use of any emergency response equipment that is in place in a facility.
- Outline of various evacuation options – full evacuation, partial evacuation (for aged care, hospitals, etc) and shelter in place (i.e. lockdown).
- Consideration of the characteristics of, and hazards from, external sources.
- Media response – all media statements should be provided, released and authorised by nominated persons.
- Additional definitions around the considerations for occupants and visitors with a disability, and the need for a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP).
- Personal effects – occupants and visitors may be asked to take their immediately available personal effects such as handbags, wallets and car keys if it is safe to do so.
Standardised colour codes are now incorporated into AS3745. This is consistent with AS4083.
|Incident Colour Code
|Infrastructure and other internal emergencies
For further information contact Safety Services Australia on 02 98363100 or www.safetyservices.net.au