We are noticing when introduced to new clients that their Emergency Control Organisation is almost non-existent and not performing the required functions as required under the standard. This places the building owner, property / facility manager and tenant at risk.
Property owners and managers should ensure buildings, structures and workplaces have an Emergency Control Organisation in place whose members are capable of implementing the emergency plan in an emergency situation under AS 3745 -2010 ‘Planning for emergencies in facilities’.
AS 3745-2010 requires the number of Emergency Control Organisation members to be determined in accordance with the size of the facility, the number of occupants, the installed occupant warning system and the fire and life safety features of the facility, but as a minimum the Emergency Control Organisation should consist of a Chief Wardenor equivalent. If considered necessary by the Emergency Planning Committee and as required by AS 3745-2010, additional Emergency Control Organisation positions shall be incorporated including:
- Deputy Chief Warden
- Communications Officer and deputy
- Floor/ Area wardens and deputies
- Wardens and deputies
- Runners, stair wardens, roll call wardens, traffic wardens, section wardens, etc.
AS 3745 requires the “day-to-day duties” not to restrict Emergency Control Organisation members from performing their roles and Emergency Control Organisation members should possess the following characteristics:
- Capabilities to perform their duties;
- Leadership qualities and the ability to exercise authority;
- Good judgement and decision making skills and the ability to remain calm under pressure;
- A willingness and ability to participate in relevant training;
- Keep up to date evacuation diagrams or evacuation signs required by AS 3745 when alterations have occurred to the building. See following evacuation diagram for example:
In addition to possessing these characteristics, Emergency Control Organisation members under AS 3745-2010 should also have the following individual attributes:
- Chief and Deputy Chief Wardens – good knowledge of the physical layout and work practices conducted, at the facility;
- Communications Officer – competent in the use of communication equipment in the facility and a clear, commanding, voice;
- Floor/ Area Wardens – available because their work keeps them at or near the workstation, reliable and able to organise others;
- Wardens – available because their work keeps them at or near their workstation and they are capable of deputising as Floor/ Area Wardens.
Importantly, under AS 3745 Emergency Control Organisation members should not be assigned dual roles that may restrict the effective management of an emergency, such as nominating first aiders as Wardens.