AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

Emergency plans: are they required?

An emergency plan is mandated by law in every company. Nobody knows when or where an emergency will occur. A fire, explosion, chemical spill, medical emergency, natural disaster, bomb threat, or violence can all result in an emergency situation. Your contingency plans will assist staff and visitors in the event of an emergency.

The best way to respond to an emergency before it happens is to have a plan in place. In the event of an emergency, your plans will benefit both employees and visitors.

Any event that endangers workers, visitors, or members of the general public, causes damage, or disrupts workplace operations is considered a work-related emergency.


An emergency plan is a written set of instructions outlining what employees and others in the workplace should do in the event of an emergency.

Emergency plans should be simple to understand and tailored to the specific workplace in which they are implemented. When making an emergency plan, keep the following in mind:

  • The type of work that is being done at the workplace;

  • Hazards in the workplace and their nature;

  • The size and location of the workplace;

  • the number and structure of the workers and other persons on the job.

An emergency plan must include:

  • emergency procedures;

  • frequent testing of emergency procedures;

  • information, training, and instruction to appropriate workers in order to carry out emergency procedures.

Also consider:

  • Workers who commute to work, who work alone, or who work in remote places (including procedures for managing off-site emergency situations);

  • Workplaces that have confined spaces or use fall arrest systems;

  • Neighboring businesses (such as hazardous chemical spills or bushfires);

  • People sleeping on site (such as hotels);

  • At the same time, there are a large number of people on the site;

  • High-risk chemical processes and major hazard facilities;

  • There will be a lot of cash handling, especially outside of typical business hours.


The emergency procedures must include:

  • An effective response to an emergency;

  • Evacuation procedures;

  • Notifying emergency response organizations as soon as possible

  • And medical treatment and assistance, and

  • There is effective communication between the person authorized by the company or employer to coordinate the emergency response and all employees at the workplace.


Employees must be properly trained in emergency procedures. The emergency plan should include provisions for worker information, training, and instruction.

Training may include:

  • Practicing evacuations;

  • Locating assembly points;

  • The location of emergency equipment;

  • First aid arrangements;

  • How to turn off machinery and equipment safely.

Consider the following when implementing emergency training:

  • During induction courses for new workers, emergency procedure training is;

  • Refresher training for existing workers;

  • Including all workers, including shift-workers, part-timers, and casual workers;

  • Including contractors on a short-term basis or guests to the workplace.

Shared workplaces

If you share a workplace with other businesses, such as shopping malls, business parks, construction sites, or multi-tenanted office buildings, you must consult with them when developing your emergency plan.

Consider creating a master emergency plan for tenants or businesses at these locations to ensure a coordinated response in the event of an emergency.

Making plans available

Employees should have easy access to emergency plans, or a summary of important aspects of an emergency plan, displayed in the workplace.

Ascertain that employees are aware of where the plans are located and how to implement them.

Reviewing plans

Regularly review and revise your emergency plan to ensure it remains current and effective.

Other scenarios in which emergency plans should be reviewed and updated include:

  • Relocation or remodeling of the workplace are examples of workplace changes;

  • Changes in the number and composition of workers, including a greater reliance on temporary contractors;

  • Where new workplace activities have been added;

  • This is done after the plan has been tested in the aftermath of an actual emergency to identify flaws and improvements.