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OHS Emergency Control Procedure

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Section 1 - Background and Purpose

(1) A critical incident is any event or potential occurrence that could have a significant adverse impact upon the wellbeing of the University community, key University operations, or the University’s reputation.

(2) The University’s Critical Incident Management Framework provides the framework for the coordination and control of any critical incident which threatens life, property, or the continual operations of any key part of the University. 

(3) One of the key components of the Critical Incident Management Framework is the Emergency Management Plan, which provides the protocols for dealing with specific emergency incidents with the intention of protecting life and property, and individual campus Emergency Response Plans. 

(4) Critical Incident Management Framework and the Emergency Response Plan are published on the University’s Risk Management Unit website.

(5) The Emergency Control Procedures have been developed to provide a control organisation to support campus Emergency Response Plans, which cover the most probable incidents that may occur within La Trobe University and establish clear areas of responsibility for the control and organisation of emergency response.

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Section 2 - Scope

(6) Refer to the Health and Safety Policy.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(7) Refer to the Health and Safety Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedure


(8) The Senior Leadership Team is responsible for:

  1. The establishment and maintenance of the University’s Critical Incident Management Framework and campus Emergency Response Plans.
  2. Development and ongoing support for the Emergency Planning Committee and the Emergency Control Organisation.
  3. The adequate resourcing of emergency management infrastructure and operations.

(9) College General Managers and Divisional Directors are responsible for:

  1. The effective implementation and management of the emergency control procedures in buildings and areas under their control.
  2. Appointment of a building warden for each building or zone.
  3. Ensuring that resources are available to all wardens to enable them to fulfil their responsibilities.
  4. Ensuring that fire safety recommendations made by building wardens are implemented.

(10) The persons responsible for the implementation and management of emergency control procedures are those with appropriate management authority over a building or buildings. For these procedures the responsible persons will be leadership Teams according to the jurisdiction over each building. For buildings occupied by more than one College or professional and Administrative areas, the senior officer from the larger of the occupying areas shall be responsible for emergency control arrangements within those buildings.

(11) The College General Managers and Divisional Directors have the authority to appoint building and floor wardens and to direct that all building occupants follow these procedures.

(12) The Building Warden is responsible for:

  1. The coordination of the building or zone evacuation in the event of an emergency or a planned drill.
  2. Liaising with the Emergency Services and University incident controller.
  3. Maintaining registers of floor wardens and deputy floor wardens.
  4. Nominating times and dates for at least two evacuation drills of building/s per year.
  5. Conducting or coordinating regular inspections to identify fire hazards and to take appropriate action.
  6. Choosing the locations of primary and a secondary assembly points as required. 

(13) The Building Warden has the authority to direct all occupants in the building or zone comply with the emergency procedures or follow reasonable instructions following the sounding of the emergency alarms during an emergency.

(14) The Emergency Response Coordinator is responsible for:

  1. Assuming control of the overall emergency response, particularly where the emergency threatens multiple buildings, zones or a campus.
  2. Liaising with Building Wardens to direct and support coordination of the emergency response
  3. Liaising with the Emergency Services

(15) The Emergency Response Coordinator has the authority to direct and control staff at all levels of the University comply with the emergency procedures following the sounding of the fire bell or alert signal or during an emergency.

(16) Floor Wardens are responsible for:

  1. Systematically checking all areas they have been assigned and inform staff and students of the requirement to evacuate (or to remain in the building if appropriate) 
  2. Reporting to the Building Warden any observed fire or evacuation hazards or unsafe conditions.
  3. Conducting regular fire and evacuation safety inspections as determined by the Building Warden.

(17) Floor Wardens have the authority to direct all occupants in the building or zone comply with the emergency procedures or follow reasonable instructions following the sounding of the emergency alarms or as directed by the building warden or incident controller during an emergency.

(18) The Infrastructure and Operations Division is responsible for:

  1. Isolating or adjusting building ventilation and services where necessary during an emergency 
  2. Activating the fire alarm or equivalent to enable a drill to be conducted (Security)

(19) Security is responsible for securing areas or buildings in an emergency 

(20) The Critical Incident Management Team is responsible for managing community relations, contact with the media, and the public, and appropriate senior members of the community.

(21) Designated First Aiders are responsible for being available in an emergency to assist in administering first aid to injured persons. 

(22) Health, Safety and Environment is responsible for:

  1. The development, implementation and review of Emergency Evacuation Plans
  2. Providing advice and assistance to Pro Vice-Chancellors and Divisional Managers, building wardens and others on emergency evacuation matters.
  3. Coordinating a training program for wardens.
  4. Maintaining a register of Building and Floor Wardens and scheduled dates for evacuation drills

(23) The Manager Health, Safety and Environment or his or her nominees has the authority to direct building occupants during an emergency or planned drill where there is an immediate threat to safety and to direct an activity cease or an area close down which in his or her opinion represents a significant fire risk.

Communication of Emergency Procedures

(24) Each building shall have Emergency Information and evacuation plans displayed in a location accessible to all staff and students. The emergency information shall contain 

  1. Names of building wardens
  2. Names of First Aiders
  3. Emergency phone numbers
  4. Floor plans of emergency exits, emergency equipment and assembly areas.

(25) The emergency information shall be regularly reviewed, to ensure that the information is current by area emergency personnel.

Emergency Drills

(26) Evacuation drills shall be conducted at six (6) monthly intervals at a suitable time.

Campus Emergency Response Plans

(27) All University campus are required to have established Campus Emergency Response Plans.

Communication and Training

(28) All employees, contractors and students are to be informed of emergency procedures through orientation and induction programs and information notice boards.

(29) All staff with emergency response roles are required to be trained in their specific roles.

(30) Designated First Aiders are required to hold current First Aid in the workplace certification (equivalent to a level 2 first aid certificates) obtained through approved providers and attend annual Cardio Pulmonary updates.


(31) Training records are to be maintained through La Trobe Health, Safety and Environment.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(32) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Assembly Areas: Are defined areas allocated away from buildings, in a safe location where personnel can assemble to be accounted for following an evacuation. Assembly Points should be, a minimum of 300 metres from the building, or shielded by another building and out of the way of MFB or emergency vehicles
  2. Emergency: An emergency is any event, natural or man-made, which by its occurrence endangers the lives of staff, students, and visitors within the building and which requires an immediate response. Examples include fire, gas leak, bomb threat, storm, flooding or civil disturbance. An emergency may be immediate or delayed, occur within or outside a building or structure.
  3. Alarm Systems: 
    1. Alert Mode, Short repeated tone blasts. On hearing this tone, prepare to evacuate.
    2. Evacuation Mode. This is a continuous repeating signal and means you must evacuate to the designated assembly areas.
    3. Fire Bell: These are located externally to the building nearest entry to the Fire Indicator Panel and also located in corridors of buildings.
  4. Break Glass Alarm: There are two types of Break Glass Alarms (BGAs) within the university. A Red Break Glass alarm, which will raise the alarm and summon the emergency services. A White BGA, a local alarm within the building but will not raise the alarm to emergency services.
  5. Building Wardens: /Emergency Response Coordinator: Co-ordinate the evacuation for their building, area or campus. They are identified by a yellow bump cap or tabard. 
  6. Critical Incident: A Critical Incident is any event or potential occurrence that could have a significant adverse impact upon the wellbeing of the University community and stakeholders, key University operations, or the University’s reputation.
  7. Critical Incident Management Team: Senior members of the University nominated to manage crisis situations.
  8. Designated First Aiders: Staff trained in first aid and able to provide initial care to the ill or injured. 
  9. Emergency evacuation: Designed to ensure the safety of people in buildings during emergencies by coordinating and controlling building evacuations until the appropriate emergency services arrive.
  10. Emergency Response Personnel: Personnel trained to respond in an emergency situation such as SCBA trained, first aiders, building and zone/ floor wardens.
  11. Emergency Warning Intercommunications System (EWIS): Separate panel located near the Fire Panel used for communication purposes.
  12. Floor / Zone Wardens: Co-ordinate the evacuation of personnel from their allocated floor or zone. They are identified by a red bump cap or tabard
  13. Incident Controller: provides leadership and management to resolve the critical incident /emergency at the incident site. 
  14. Main Emergency Control Point (MECP): The designated location from where the evacuation is co-ordinated. The MECP is usually located near the Fire indicator Panel or the Building’s foyer area. 
  15. Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA): Where there is a significant risk of the atmosphere becomes hazardous, (for example areas handling certain chemicals or compressed gases), self-contained breathing apparatus is provided for use by trained staff. The use of SCBA may be necessary to rescue persons in the immediate vicinity, to isolate or control the release of hazardous substances or to control spillage of chemicals. The decision regarding entry into hazardous areas by trained and approved personnel using SCBA will normally be made by the Emergency Response Coordinator.