AS 3745-2010 Planning for Emergencies in Facilities

Over the last few days I have been asked three times the following question;

In what circumstances am I required to create an emergency plan for a workplace?

Upon further investigation, the question has hovered around the specific requirements for a 150-250m2 Class 6 (retail) building.

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Recently the Fire Protection Association of Australia hosted a series of seminars throughout Australia effectively launching the 2010 revision of Australian Standard AS 3745-2010 Planning for Emergencies in Facilities.

The standard was first published in 1990 and was revised in 1995 and 2002. The fourth edition, released in November 2010, outlines the minimum requirements for the establishment, validation and implementation of an emergency plan for a facility.

The standard applies to buildings, structures or workplaces occupied by people, with the exception of Class 1a1 buildings as defined in the Building Code of Australia, unless that dwelling is also used as a workplace.

The standard also provides guidance for the planning and implementation of effective emergency planning committee (EPC), emergency control organisation (ECO) and emergency response procedures, covering emergency situations up until the appropriate emergency service arrives.

While not normally a condition of an Occupancy Permit or Maintenance Determination it is possible an emergency plans and controls could be deemed to be an essential safety measure and fall within the requirements of Part 12 of the Building Regulations 2006 (Vic)

More likely however is that an emergency control organisation and the associated plans and procedures are required by the employer or a workplace health and safety committee, within the requirements of Part 3 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic).

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 - SECT 23, 24 & 25

23. Duties of employers to other persons

  1. An employer must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons other than employees of the employer are not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the conduct of the undertaking of the employer.
  2. Penalty: 1800 penalty units for a natural person; 9000 penalty units for a body corporate.

24. Duties of self-employed persons to other persons

  1. A self-employed person must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons are not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the conduct of the undertaking of the self-employed person.
  2. Penalty: 1800 penalty units.

25. Duties of employees

  1. While at work, an employee must-
    1. take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety; and
    2. take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons who may be affected by the employee's acts or omissions at a workplace; and
    3. co-operate with his or her employer with respect to any action taken by the employer to comply with a requirement imposed by or under this Act or the regulations.

    Penalty: 1800 penalty units.

Based on the information available, employers and workplace health and safety committees should evaluate their requirement for an according to the Regulations.

At a minimum each workplace should prepare and implement the following;

  1. an emergency plan
  2. procedures for an emergency response
  3. an accurate evacuation diagram illustrating the paths of travel to exits, evacuation assembly points and safety features of the building

Of course it is then incumbent on employers to ensure that each employee is familiar with the emergency procedures of the workplace.

Hopefully this helps answer the question about the requirements for Planning for Emergencies in Facilities for small Class 6 retail buildings.

If you have any questions, drop me a line and I will do my best to steer you in the right direction.

Russ

  • 1. Clause 1.2 of AS3745-2010 excludes single (Class 1) dwellings
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Comments

 
More clarification...
Submitted by rporteous on June 2, 2011 - 17:15.

Within 15 minutes of me posting this blog, I got an email from a customer who asked:

You are saying it (AS3745) does apply (to small Class 6 buildings)...

AS3745 may apply, however OH&S legislation provides for a range of methods which a workplace health and safety committee can adopt to provide a safe workplace..

I am unable to identify a reference to AS3745 as a legislative requirement, except for a minor reference in Tasmania.

The generally accepted workplace health and safety risk assessment and hierarchy of controls is still relevant...

  1. Elimination
  2. Substitution
  3. Isolation
  4. Engineering Controls
  5. Administrative Controls
  6. Personal Protective Equipment

Effectively AS3745 is a suite of standardised administrative controls specifically for Planning for Emergencies in Facilities. AS3745 is a TOOL available to the workplace health and safety committee to implement in their workplace.

I hope this helps!

Russ

 
As part of a WH&S course I
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 21, 2013 - 13:47.

As part of a WH&S course I have been asked to monitor the effectiveness of a fire drill and use the AS3745;2010 as a checklist. I do not know what this is, or we can design one for use during the evacuation . SUSAN