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Evacuation Diagrams: Understanding the Legislation and Your Legal Responsibilities

The Model Work Health & Safety Regulations 2011 specifies under Regulation 43, that a person conducting a business or undertaking at a workplace has a duty to prepare, maintain and implement emergency plans. The maximum penalties for non-compliance stand at $6,000 for an individual and $30,000 for a Body Corporate.

The Managing the Work Environment and Facilities Code of Practice published by Safe Work Australia identifies ways in which Regulation 43 can be met, including the “distribution and display of a site plan that illustrate the location of fire protection equipment, emergency exits and assembly points” – essentially and evacuation diagram.

The current Australian Standard for the provision of evacuation diagrams was published in 2010, as AS 3745-2010, Planning for Emergencies in Facilities. This was updated in 2014 under Amendment 1 to put a greater emphasis on the preparation, revision and requirements for evacuation diagrams.

What this means for you – Whilst AS 3745-2010 is not directly referenced in the WH&S Act, it is widely considered best practice to adhere to the requirements in order to show a duty of care to your employees and customers.

NOTE: Queensland businesses must follow the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 which has specific requirements for evacuation diagrams. The BFSR takes precedent over the WH&S Regulations regarding emergency procedures and must be followed by law.

For more information, see our blog post on Evacuation Diagrams for Queensland Businesses.