NSW – Hendry reports that under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, an employer must ensure that, in the event of an emergency at any place of work at which the employer’s undertaking is conducted, arrangements (such as evacuation diagrams) have been made for the safe and rapid evacuation of persons from the place of work. Furthermore, details of the arrangements for any such evacuation are kept on display in an appropriate location or locations at the place of work. AS 3745-2010 ‘Planning for emergencies in facilities’ is designed to suit the requirements.

As part of an emergency plan in order to meet such legislative requirements, evacuation diagrams/ evacuation signs or floor plans may be used to show the locations of exits and the locations of emergency related equipment including:

  • manual call points (MCP’s) / break glass alarms (BGA’s);
  • warden intercom point (WIP) phones;
  • fire extinguishers, hose reels, hydrants and blankets;
  • fire / communication panels;
  • assembly areas;
  • emergency telephone numbers;
  • brief emergency and evacuation instructions.

Aside from assisting legislative compliance and making a building or workplace safer for all users, the display of accurate and clearly presented evacuation signs or evacuation diagrams may aid a positive response or produce a satisfactory outcome to an emergency, e.g. quick activation of an alarm, extinguishment of a small fire and identification of an alternative exit.