You may have seen in the media this week with the Commonwealth Games fast approaching, the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Rail are performing mock exercises to test their response procedures. This is great as they get all first responders, intelligence officers, detectives and other specialist units as well as the Queensland Ambulance Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services all together and test all procedures in place in the event of an emergency within the rail network.
Just like Queensland Rail, businesses must also test all emergency response procedures and how personnel respond to these at least annually. You don’t want to find out the deficiencies within your procedures during the REAL EVENT. The level of testing required will ultimately depend on the level of risk. An office based company vs engineering company would have different requirements, different scenarios and different risks.
Some time ago I worked for a company that conducted confined space activities. It was decided to get Queensland Fire and Emergency Services in to run a mock exercise for everyone on site and all emergency services to test procedures in place and ensure Queensland Fire and Emergency Services were familiar with our activities on site. This was a great initiative to see where the pitfalls are and how to improve for both us and the Fire and Emergency Services. The mock exercise there were 3 injured workers in a confined space who were performing hot work activities. Had this been ‘’real life”, the 3 workers would have died. There were many issues flagged during the exercise which allowed us to work with Fire and Emergency Services to rectify these.
Whether you are a small office or a large organisation it is so important that emergency plans exist, but even more important that these are tested, otherwise they are as useful as the paper they are written on.
Some key points (but not limited to) to think about when putting together your emergency plan
- Types of emergencies;
- Who are the designated wardens and first aiders on site;
- Who need to be contacted in an emergency eg local authorities, management etc;
- How do you account for all on site including visitors;
- If large quantities of gas or fuels stored on site, think about how these can be isolated safely;
- How to deal with media;
- Have a plan of where everyone is to assemble;
- Ensure notification of an incident is able to be heard or seen by all on site;
- Frequency of testing the plan and review;
- Location of fire fighting equipment.
Something that is available to help emergency services locate you or your business is an App called Emergency +. This App is available on Android and Apple phones. If you use this app to call ‘000’ or Police it sends the operator your GPS Coordinates!
If you would like to discuss further, or would like a no obligation chat please call me on 0413 917722 or send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. Website www.zeroexposure.com.au