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Workplaces can eliminate danger and minimise financial loss if they implement a strong emergency response plan.

It doesn’t take an expert to understand that planning in advance is far better than reacting to something in the moment where everything starts to spiral out of control. Emergency response planning acts as the distinction point between things staying safe and becoming a disaster. To help you maximise your emergency planning efforts, we’ve put together this guide to building a strong emergency response plan for your workplace:

Legal obligations for businesses 

Australian law dictates that the emergency response plan is the responsibility of the PCBU (Persons Conducting Business or Undertakings). This means anyone in Australia who operates a business must ensure all people on the premises, no matter whether they are staff or visitors, are accounted for should an emergency of any sort occur. If you need help or clarification about your obligations as a business owner, chat to our staff today. 

What an emergency response plan involves

An emergency response plan is a thorough and systematic document that considers all your business risks, enabling you to navigate your personnel in the event of an emergency occurrence. The purpose of the plan is to reduce harm, limiting the impact of a disaster on the business, its owners, staff and customers. It highlights the clearest and most accessible evacuation measures, indicating the location of shelter, where you can find first aid facilities and the contact details of emergency services and designated fire safety personnel.

How to improve your emergency response

Calculate your main internal threats

What are the risks at play in your internal operations? If you have flammable items outside of the standard Class A Ordinary Combustibles, it’s crucial that you invest in additional fire equipment. Other fire classes include:

  • Class B – Flammable liquids
  • Class C – Flammable gases, if your business uses chemicals
  • Class D – Combustible metals, if you use flammable metal equipment
  • Class E – Electrical equipment, if you have computers or appliances
  • Class F – Cooking oils and fats, if your business uses a kitchen.

Calculate your external threats

Whether it’s a natural disaster, a flood or a bushfire, some external threats are simply out of your control. That doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for them and minimise the risk they cause. By paying attention to weather events and ensuring you’re extra cautious in high-risk periods, like Summer when bushfires are more likely, you can save lives. Here are some tips to help you keep external threats at bay:

  • Monitor the weather – weather forecasts may not be one hundred percent accurate, but don’t discount them. They’re still super valuable and a vital tool to help you prepare for extreme temperatures or events like storms.
  • Create a set of weather-specific procedures – each kind of whether event is very different, and comes with its own set of risks. For example, heat and lack of rain can cause fire and heavy rain can cause flooding. As a result, you’ll need to operate differently in each kind of condition.  
  • Always be prepared – Make sure fire equipment is always on standby, brief staff on what they need to do and ensure the details of emergency assembly points are effectively communicated.

Maximise your evacuation diagrams

Evacuation diagrams are a crucial reminder to your staff, providing instruction in a moment of chaos and panic. These diagrams should:

  • Represent the specifications of the buildings, detailing the exact location of fire safety equipment
  • Indicate a path from the diagram’s location to the exit
  • Be sized adequately and sit at eye level
  • Be placed in easily-accessible locations

Ready to improve the safety of your building? is here to help you. Our expert team creates safe and efficient evacuation plans that take the stress out of emergency planning. Contact us for more information today!