In light of recent severe storms and floods across the East Coast, it is now more important than ever to have your workplace emergency plan up-to-date and ready for implementation at a moment’s notice.
The impact of recent flooding has been devastating for families and businesses. Whilst weather is unpredictable, and uncontrollable, there are opportunities to prepare your business and lessen the impact on your staff and premises.
What the law says about Emergency Plans
Emergency Plans are a requirement under the model Work Health and Safety Regulation (regulation 43). The regulation requires businesses to ensure that an emergency plan is prepared for the workplace, including for workers who may work at multiple workplaces.
What is an Emergency Plan and what should it consist of?
Emergency Plans are written guidelines and instructions that detail the processes that workers must follow in the event of an emergency situation.
Emergency plans may include both basic and detailed procedures for workers and should include the following;
- Emergency procedures including:
Notifying emergency services
Listing emergency contacts in the workplace in a visible and accessible location (eg fire wardens)
Access and egress/muster points
- Testing of the emergency procedures
- Information, training and instruction to relevant workers in relation to implementing the emergency procedures.
Consult with your workforce on your Emergency Plan
It is critical to ensure that your workers are aware of the Emergency Plan for the workplace and know their role and responsibilities in the event of an emergency.
Retailers must have a process in place to ensure the Emergency Plan is regularly reviewed to ensure it remains relevant and effective in the event of an emergency.
Now is an opportune time to review your Emergency Plan. It is a legislative requirement to consult with your workforce on health and safety matters, and therefore, the review of the Plan should involve consultation with the workers and health and safety representatives (HSR) where relevant.
Key Messages for Retailers
- Have an up to date Emergency Plan that is regularly reviewed, in consultation with the workforce
- Run drills with all workers to ensure procedures and individual roles are understood
- Be aware of upcoming weather events to allow as much preparation time as possible
Tip: Establish an emergency planning committee with both managers and workforce representatives to ensure cohesive planning and implementation.
Resource: Download this template to assist your business develop an effective Emergency Plan.
The material within this update is provided for general information and educational purposes in summary form on topics which are current when it is first published. The content does not constitute legal advice or recommendations and should not be relied upon as such.