Guideline: Duties of Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) members
This guideline provides details on the duties and responsibilities of members of the Emergency Planning Committee established for a University College, School or Service Division. This guideline supports the emergency response procedure in meeting the compliance requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Cth) (WHS Act), the Work Health and Safety Regulations, 2011 (Cth) (WHS Regulations) and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act, 1988 (SRC Act). This guideline also supports the emergency response procedure based on the requirements in Australian Standard (AS) 3745:2010 Planning for Emergencies in Facilities. This guideline is linked to the Australian National University’s Workplace Health and Safety Policy and is one of the WHS Management System documents located on the Work Environment Group Web Page.
The role of the EPC
- Each College/School/Service Division shall have an EPC for its facilities. The role of the EPC is to:
- develop, implement and maintain the emergency plan, emergency response procedures and related training for their respective facilities; and
- establish an emergency control organisation (ECO) to operate in accordance with the emergency plan and emergency response procedures. The ECO is a designated organisation of people employed within the building or facility who take command during an emergency situation, while awaiting the arrival of the fire brigade or other emergency services.
- Where multiple business units occupy a facility, the business unit with the most number of FTE’s will lead the EPC.
- Where the EPC represents a single building it shall consist of not less than two people. One shall represent senior management, and one shall be a competent person.
- Where the EPC represents more than one building in a College/School/Service Division, EPC membership shall be representative of the size and number of the buildings to be represented by the Committee.
- Where a building contains people with disability the EPC should include, where reasonable, an occupant with a disability.
Duties of EPC members
- The duties of EPC members shall include:
- Identifying events that could reasonably produce emergency situations;
- Developing emergency plans in accordance with the Emergency Plan Template available from the F&S Fire Safety Officer;
- Ensuring that resources are provided to enable the development and implementation of the emergency plan;
- Nominating the validity period for the emergency plans and the evacuation diagrams;
- Ensuring the emergency plan is identifiable and available to all appropriate persons;
- Establishing an emergency control organisation (ECO) to operate in accordance with the emergency plan; and
- Authorising, or having authorised, the release and implementation of the emergency plan.
Notes on implementing the emergency plan
- Implementation of the emergency plan consists of:
- Disseminating information to occupants on the emergency response procedures pertaining to their faculty;
- Ensuring relevant training is provided to ECO members and facility occupants;
- Testing the emergency procedures at least annually; and
- Reviewing the emergency procedures;
- Ensuring a functional and operational ECO, including the training of deputies and making arrangements to cover ECO members during leave periods;
- Ensuring the register of ECO members is current and readily available;
- Putting processes in place to ensure all visitors are made aware of emergency response procedures;
- Ensuring that emergency plan is reviewed at the end of the validity period, after an emergency, an exercise, or any changes that affect the emergency plan;
- Ensuring that a permanent record of events for each emergency is compiled and retained;
- Identifying and correcting deficiencies for improvement in the emergency plans and emergency response procedures; and
- Ensuring relevant training is conducted in cooperation with building custodians, occupants and the University Fire Safety Officer.