Emergency Preparedness

No matter how many safety measures are put in place, emergencies can still happen. Emergency preparedness does not end with well-maintained fire equipment, First Aid and clearly labelled emergency exits. Every employer and employee needs a good understanding of the procedures the company has in place to handle emergency situations, everyone should understand their role during an emergency and understand what needs to be done to keep themselves and their fellow employees safe.

be prepared for an emergency

The safety procedure is as follows:

1) In all emergencies the person that detects the emergency must sound the alarm and phone emergency services 10177 / 10111.

2) Switch off all electrical appliances where possible.

3) Lock away all paper.

4) Lock away all your valuables.

5) All visitors and persons with disabilities must be assisted out of the building.

6) Know your evacuation plans and listen to instructions of applicable marshals.

7) Move to your nearest exit.

8) Keep to your left.

9) Do not run and do not panic.

10) Do not use lifts where possible.

11) Meet at the Emergency Assembly point and wait for further instructions.


During a hostage situation:

1) In the event of a hostage drama, adhere to their demands, stay calm and wait for instructions.


Gas LPG:

1) Avoid contaminated area

2) Stay upright at all times, Gas is heavier than air and will settle in lower areas

3) Follow Step 1 and open all doors and windows.


Hazardous Materials:

1) Avoid contaminated area

2) Follow Step 1 and close all doors and windows

Emergency teams must ensure that everyone has evacuated the premises safely.


What to do in a fire drill?

1)      Sound the alarm

2)      Close all doors and windows

3)      Switch off all lights

4)      Switch off any machinery (Forklift, Lift Truck and leave in a safe state)

5)       Move to the assembly point in an orderly fashion DO NOT RUN

6)      Wait at assembly point for Roll-Call

7)      Evacuation Officers to direct person to assembly points and conduct a floor sweep

        checking to ensure that all persons have evacuated the building (including bathrooms)

8)      First aiders to report to assembly point with a first aid box

9)      Firefighters to report to assembly point with a Fire Extinguisher

10)    Once Roll-Call is complete and all persons are accounted for including visitors and

         contractors, and the area has been deemed safe management to give the go ahead to

         return to work

What to do in a bomb threat:

1)      Sound the alarm

2)      Person who receives the Bomb Threat telephonically is to complete the Bomb Threat

        Questionnaire

3)      Open all doors and windows

4)      Ensure all lights are switched on

5)      Switch off any machinery (Forklift, Lift Truck and leave in a safe state)

6)      Move to the assembly point in an orderly fashion DO NOT RUN

7)      Wait at assembly point for Roll-Call

8)      Evacuation Officers to direct person to assembly points and conduct a floor sweep

        checking to ensure that all persons have evacuated the building (including bathrooms)

9)      First aiders to report to assembly point with a first aid box

10)    Firefighters to report to assembly point with a Fire Extinguisher

11)    Once Roll-Call is complete and all persons are accounted for including visitors and

        contractors, and the area has been deemed safe management to give the go ahead to

        return to work


emergency preparedness checklist

Duties and responsibilities of Emergency Management Team

Emergency Controller:

As per Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, a person appointed as an Evacuation Controller shall ensure that the following duties are properly executed during any emergency situation; your responsibilities will, therefore, include but not necessarily be restricted to, the following:

  1. Once any emergency situation is reported to you, you will immediately arrange to meet with the rest of the emergency team, i.e. the fire-fighting coordinator, the first aid co-ordinator and the evacuation coordinator, in order to decide on a plan of action;
  2. The emergency team must, immediately, decide whether any help is required from emergency services or the S.A.P.S. – you must, personally, ensure that such services are contacted and that the appropriate directions are given;
  3. As an emergency team you must coordinate the activities of the various emergency teams, i.e. firefighting, first aid and emergency evacuation teams; and
  4. You will, continuously, remain in contact with (name of a designated management representative) to keep management informed of any progress, new developments or difficulties experienced to effectively deal with the situation.
  5. During an emergency situation and simulated exercises, take full control of the workplace and all persons on the premises, at that time, will be under your direct control.

Appointment Letter

Evacuation Coordinator:

As per Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, a person appointed as an Evacuation Coordinator shall ensure that the following duties are properly executed during any emergency situation; your responsibilities will, therefore, include but not necessarily be restricted to, the following:

  1. To ensure that sufficient number of suitable persons are identified, trained and appointed as evacuation marshals / officers;
  2. During an emergency evacuation the above mentioned evacuation marshals / officers will ensure that all persons in their respective areas of responsibility have evacuated; any missing persons, identified through roll-call, will be reported to you;
  3. As emergency evacuation coordinator you are part of the emergency team reporting directly to the appointed emergency controller and any missing or unaccounted persons must be reported to the said official
  4. You must liaise with the other members of the emergency team to arrange, as the team sees fit, suitable exercises (quarterly, six monthly / annually) in which all members of the various emergency teams must participate

Fire Fighting Coordinator:

In terms of this appointment, you are required to ensure the following, regarding fire fighting measures:

  1. That a sufficient number of suitable persons are identified and trained as firefighters and that refresher/advanced firefighting training is arranged from time-to- time to meet the requirements;
  2. That a firefighting team be established and appointed accordingly – suitable, practical exercises must be arranged (quarterly/six monthly/annually), where possible with the aid of the local emergency services, in which the existing firefighting measures are tested for efficiency; and
  3. In case of a workplace emergency (fire fighters/firefighting team members) must report to you and in liaison with the emergency controller (name of appointed emergency controller), you must establish the cause of action and give the necessary command.


First-Aid Coordinator:

  1. That a sufficient number of suitable persons is identified and trained as first aiders, that the validity of first aid certificates is monitored and that refresher training is arranged in good time;
  2. That a first aid team is established and appointed – suitable practical exercises must be arranged (monthly/quarterly/six monthly/annually) in which possible workplace scenarios are simulated and in which the existing emergency arrangements are tested for efficiency;
  3. That the content required in the various first aid boxes is established in consultation with all roll players and that each first aid box be provided with a content list; and
  4. That the content of first aid boxes must further be checked (monthly/quarterly/six monthly) and replenished where necessary – including the replacement of anything which has reached its expiry date.


Evacuation marshal / officer:

As per Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, a person appointed as an Evacuation marshal / officer shall ensure that the following duties are properly executed during any emergency situation; your responsibilities will, therefore, include but not necessarily be restricted to, the following:

  1. To ensure that all persons in your area of responsibility have evacuated the workplace and have assembled at designated assembly point;
  2. At the assembly point you will conduct a roll call to confirm that all persons present on the premises can be accounted for;
  3. Any persons not being accounted for must be reported to the emergency team leader who, in return, will report such incident to emergency services for follow-up;
  4. You should, under no circumstances, re-enter the workplace to locate persons who could not be accounted for; and
  5. You should remain at the assembly point and assist with the control of persons and not allow any person, who is not part of the emergency team, to leave the assembly point, persons may only leave the assembly area once the all clear has been given by the emergency services.


Fire fighter:

As per Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, a person appointed as fire fighter / member of the firefighting team your duties will include, amongst others, the following:

  1. To assist the firefighting coordinator with the identification of any hazards and measures for the elimination, reduction or control of such hazards;
  2. In case of a fire alarm being raised, to immediately report to the firefighting coordinator, taking with you any previously identified firefighting equipment;
  3. To act strictly in accordance with any instructions given by the firefighting coordinator to fight such fires until this task can be taken over by the relevant emergency services; and
  4. On arrival of the emergency services to withdraw from the fire immediately and report back to the firefighting coordinator; any further instructions, even from the emergency services, will be channeled through and be given to you by the firefighting coordinator.


First aider:

As per Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, a person appointed as a First Aider the duties will include:

  1. To ensure that the first aid boxes under your control remain properly stocked to meet all foreseeable incidents which may occur in your designated area of responsibility;
  2. To ensure that first aid boxes are properly safeguarded, that the position of such boxes is properly demarcated and that the names of aiders are conspicuously displayed on, or at the first aid boxes;
  3. To ensure that you keep your first aid certificate current at all times for the duration of your appointment;
  4. Should the activities in your area of responsibility involve the use of hazardous chemical substances you must familiarize yourself with the material safety data sheets (MSDS) for the particular substance or substances, with particular reference to the first aid measures to be applied in case of an emergency; and
  5. To be readily available during working hours and shifts to administer first aid when required.


Incident Investigator:

In terms of this appointment you must investigate all recordable incidents, i.e. all incidents reportable in terms of section 24 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and all other incidents which resulted in the person or persons concerned having had to receive medical treatment, other than first aid treatment, i.e. referred to a doctor or hospital for examination/treatment, etc.

  1. Once you are advised or become aware of such incident you must immediately arrange/start the investigation;
  2. Where reasonably practicable you must visit the site of the incident with the view to establishing the conditions at the time of the incident;
  3. All incidents must be investigated within 7 days of the incident and finalized as soon as possible;
  4. The results of the investigation must be recorded in the form of a company document for this purpose and this document must be tabled and discussed at the first meeting of the Health and Safety Committee following the incident; and
  5. All documentation pertaining to incident investigations must be properly filed in (name and or reference of file)




Posted date: 23rd Oct 2018
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