Evacuation procedure and diagram essentials - Fact sheet
WorkSafe Western Australia is the government agency responsible for regulating WA’s occupational safety and health (OSH) legislation.
This fact sheet offers essential information to assist employers in meeting their obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996.
What you need to know
What is required by law?
Employers, main contractors, self-employed persons and persons in control of a workplace are required in accordance with Regulation 3.10 to:
- develop an evacuation procedure for fire or other emergencies at the workplace;
- display the evacuation procedure and a diagram, showing the exits and the position in relation to the exits, clearly and prominently at the workplace, where practicable;
- practice the evacuation procedure at reasonable intervals, where practicable; and
- train persons who would be required to help control or extinguish a fire and provide appropriate protective clothing and equipment to these persons.
An evacuation procedure is a plan of action to be followed in a certain order or manner, in response to an emergency event. This could be for instance a fire, an incident with hazardous chemicals, an explosion, a medical emergency, a bomb threat, an armed hold up or natural emergencies such as a cyclone or an earthquake.
The evacuation procedure should be developed in consultation with employees and based on a practical assessments of hazards associated with the work activity or the workplace, and the possible consequences of an emergency occurring as a result of these hazards.
Evacuation procedures do not necessarily have to be lengthy or complex. They should be easy to understand and tailored to the specific workplace.
When developing the evacuation procedure, consider for the identified emergency events the following steps:
- Before you have an emergency, consider what you would do if something happened. What are the emergency telephone numbers, where is the nearest doctor, hospital, etc.
- Decide who should call the emergency services and who should take initial steps to deal with the emergency (eg persons trained in using fire extinguishers or fire wardens, first aiders). Also consider who is responsible in the absence of the manager.
- Determine a means of alerting staff of an emergency: for example by siren, bell alarms or visual alarm in a noisy workplace.
- Prepare the evacuation procedure detailing what to do in identified emergency events. For instance, for a fire, steps may include:
- Assist persons in immediate danger – if safe to do so.
- Restrict the danger – if safe to do so. For example, close doors, turn off machine, shut off gas cylinder, stop process, turn off power.
- Raise the alarm – notify emergency services – provide contact details.
- Attend to the emergency - if safe to do so. For example, attempt to extinguish the fire (trained persons only).
- Evacuate to nominated assembly area.
- Remain at the assembly area and ensure everybody is accounted for.
- Practice the evacuation procedure at reasonable intervals.
- Train persons who would be required to extinguish a fire in the use of fire extinguishers.
Further information and resources
- WorkSafe Enquiries Line 1300 307 877
- WorkSafe Guidance note - Preparing for emergency-evacuations at the workplace
- SafeWork Australia Emergency Plan Fact Sheet