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Health and Safety Procedure - Emergency Control Organisation

Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) The Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) is a structured organisation of persons to organise and supervise the safe movement of occupants of a facility or facilities group in an emergency.  

(2) The purpose of this Procedure is to familiarise all members of the Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) with the processes to facilitate safe, orderly and timely evacuation when it is necessary or to direct and manage emergency circumstances such as a medical response, hazardous material release or facility lock down. 

(3) This Procedure aligns to the Australian Standard 3745-2010.

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Section 2 - Scope

(4) This Procedure applies to:

  1. All La Trobe University controlled facilities.
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) Refer to the:

  1. Health and Safety Policy
  2. Critical Incident Management Policy and the University Critical Incident Framework.
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Section 4 - Procedures

Part A - Responsibilities – Emergency Control Organisation

Facility Wardens, Area Wardens and First Aid Responders

(6) Facility Wardens, Area Wardens and First Aid Responders are responsible for:

  1. Conducting an orderly evacuation of the facility’s occupants, including members of the public; who may be in the facility at the time; to a safe place of assembly; or
  2. Managing emergency circumstances such as a medical response, hazardous material release or facility lock down;
  3. Assisting with the evacuation of disabled person/s to a safe place;
  4. Assisting during an emergency to provide First Aid, where required;
  5. Assisting Emergency Services with emergency information;
  6. Undertaking reporting and debrief with the view to continuous improvement.

Managers and Leaders

(7) Managers and Leaders are responsible for

  1. Ensuring that Facility and/or Area Wardens are appointed and role coverage is maintained;
  2. Leading by example to provide visible support for the drill evacuations;
  3. Managing team members and ensuring active participation during drill evacuations;
  4. Enabling Wardens and First Aid Responders to meet their operational and training commitments.

Persons in charge of a class OR meeting

(8) Any person in charge of a class or meeting will lead the evacuation of participants; including visitors; and in conjunction with instruction from the ECO

Health & Safety Team

(9) The Health & Safety Team are responsible for:

  1. Providing oversight and monitoring this Procedure;
  2. Communicating the structure of the ECO and vacancies as these arise;
  3. Managing the training and re-fresher training for the ECO;
  4. Coordinating the drill evacuations and including complexity to some scenarios;
  5. Periodically acting as an independent observer and provide feedback on drill evacuations to the ECO;
  6. Reporting on the ECO performance to the Safety Campus Group and Consultative Committees;
  7. Reviewing the drill evacuation reports and share learnings with the University community;
  8. Monitoring to ensure any necessary corrective actions are implemented.

All Staff, Students, Contractors and Visitors

(10) All Staff, Students, Contractors and Visitors are responsible for:

  1. Actively participating in drill evacuations and in emergencies;
  2. Following the instructions provided by the Area Wardens and Emergency Services;
  3. Assembling at the nominated assembly area;
  4. Not returning to the facility or area until Emergency Services declares it safe to do so.

Part B - General

(11) The function of the Emergency Control Organisation is to provide organisational structure and direction during an emergency that ensures a safe response and where necessary, the evacuation and assembly of all occupants. 

(12) The ECO at La Trobe University consists of Facility Wardens, Area Wardens and First Aid Responders who are nominated to these roles from each work area. In addition, a Deputy Facility Warden is nominated for each Facility though this role can be undertaken by an Area Warden when required. 

(13) All Wardens will undertake internal training when initially appointed then periodic refreshment every two years.

(14) The Emergency Control Organisation will be called upon under the duress of an emergency, so it is important that the ECO structure is constantly in place and that drill evacuations occur regularly to:

  1. Practise the plan 
  2. Identify gaps or problems

(15) People that identify with a disability will have a personal emergency plan prepared to address specific needs and this will be exercised during emergency evacuations and drills. 

Part C - Drill Evacuation

(16) All facilities under the control of La Trobe University will undertake two drill evacuations each calendar year; once per semester. The drill evacuations will endeavour to include scenario complexity once per year to stress test the ECO structure and its performance.

(17) Each Facility Warden will:

  1. Prepare personal emergency evacuation plan/s as required for occupant/s with a disability;
  2. Coordinate the drill evacuation in consultation with the Health & Safety team and identify an independent observer;
  3. Undertake the drill evacuation, including the evacuation of disabled person/s to a safe place;
  4. Conduct a debrief after each drill evacuation;
  5. Complete the drill evacuation report.

(18) Each Area Warden will:

  1. Implement emergency response process for their floor or area;
  2. Assist the evacuation of disabled person/s to a safe place;
  3. Lead groups to the nominated assembly area;
  4. Participate in a de-brief after each drill evacuation.

Part D - Emergency Response

(19) When an emergency is apparent, either through direct communication or through the activation of the emergency alarms, the ECO will manage emergency circumstances through the emergency plan for their facility/group of facilities.

(20) Each Facility Warden will:

  1. Coordinate the emergency, including the evacuation of disabled person/s to a safe place;
  2. Assist Emergency Services with information pertinent to the emergency;
  3. Conduct a debrief after the emergency;
  4. Complete the drill evacuation report when an emergency evacuation is exercised.

(21) Each Area Warden will:

  1. Implement emergency response process for their floor or area;
  2. Assist the evacuation of disabled person/s to a safe place where necessary;
  3. Communicate with the Facility Warden and follow instruction from the Facility Warden and/or Emergency Services;
  4. Lead groups to the nominated assembly area when an evacuation is enacted;
  5. Participate in a de-brief after the emergency.

(22) First Aid Responder/s will provide First Aid in the treatment of any injuries until Emergency Services arrive.

(23) Deputy Facility Wardens will assume the duties and responsibilities of the Facility Warden if the Facility Warden is absent.

(24) If the Deputy Facility Warden is also absent, a nominated Area Warden will act as Facility Warden.

(25) Security personnel will act as the Facility Warden when:

  1. The facility is identified as a self-evacuation area or facility; or
  2. An out of hours emergency occurs

Part E - Continuous Improvement

Drill Evacuation

(26) The Health and Safety team will; at times act as an independent observer of drill evacuations to capture information and provide feedback to the ECO.

(27) The Health & Safety team will review drill evaluation reports and incorporate learnings periodically into plans and ongoing training. Learnings will be shared with the wider University community such as the Campus Safety Group for the purposes of continuous improvement.

Emergency Response

(28) De-briefs will be co-ordinated by members of the Campus Safety Group after each emergency for the purposes of learning and continuous improvement. 

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Section 5 - Definitions

(29) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Area Warden: A member of the ECO that coordinates the emergency response of a work area or building floor in the period before emergency services arrive to manage the response.
  2. Assembly Areas: Defined areas away from buildings and considered a safe location for the assembly for facility occupants.
  3. Campus Safety Group: The governing authority for Incident and Emergency Management preparedness at La Trobe University. 
  4. Emergency Control Organisation (ECO): A structured organisation of persons to organise and supervise the safe movement of occupants of a facility or facilities group in an emergency. 
  5. Emergency: Any event – either natural or man-made – that can endanger lives and which requires immediate response.
  6. Emergency Services: Police, Fire Services and Medical Services (including ambulance) form the emergency services that provide assistance to manage emergency events.
  7. Facility Warden: A member of the ECO that leads the local emergency response for a facility such as a building in the period before emergency services arrive to manage the response.
  8. First Aid Responder: A member of the ECO that is qualified to provide First Aid as a first responder and before emergency services arrive to manage the response.