AS 3745:2010 Planning for Emergencies in Facilities – Why Should You Comply?
Facility owners/managers, occupiers and employers must take the safety of their workers seriously. Nobody can predict when an emergency or a disaster will strike, which makes an attitude of preparedness imperative. We don’t have time to ponder the correct response in an emergency – we need to react instinctively based on our preparatory training and procedures.
Irrespective of which State or Territory Health and Safety Legislation is referenced, they all have a common requirement:
“To ensure that the health and safety of persons in their charge and the health and safety of third parties are not affected by the conduct of their work or undertaking.”
Australian Standards are voluntary documents that are developed by industry experts and their application is by choice unless their use is referenced by a Regulation or Code. In layman’s terms, AS 3745:2010 Planning for Emergencies in Facilities lays out the recommended framework for emergency planning in the workplace to meet the Code of Practice on Managing the Work Environment and Facilities. This Code of Practice, as issued by Safe Work Australia, provides a practical guide to complying with the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations in your workplace or facility (Workplace Health and Safety Regulation 2011 – Regulation 43).
Even in states such as Victoria where the Standard is not referenced by an Act or Regulation, we must still be able to demonstrate compliance and duty of care if an incident occurs or harm is caused. Compliance with the AS3745:2010 would confirm our intent to comply and show that we have taken all steps that could be reasonably expected including:
- Establishing an Emergency Planning Committee (EPC)
- Establishing an Emergency Control Organisation (ECO)
- Conducting a risk assessment to determine emergency procedures required to manage the risks
- Developing and documenting the emergency procedures
- Ensuring training is given to relevant persons at the specified intervals
Remember – the time to prepare for an emergency is now, not when it happens.