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A fire just broke out... does your Emergency Controller know what to do?

by , 16 September 2013
Your emergency controller has a vital role to play when a fire breaks out. Here are 10 emergency controller responsibilities that'll help save your employees lives.

Dear Reader

A fire just broke out… does your Emergency Controller know what to do?

Yesterday we spoke about your fire fighter's duties when a fire breaks out. By law, you have to appoint at least one fire fighter, one first aider and one emergency controller (OHSAct). Your emergency controller has a vital role to play when a fire breaks out. Here are 10 emergency controller responsibilities that'll help save your employees lives.

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If you think health and safety isn't important in your company, think again.

Most companies only realise there's problem when an accident happens. They get a visit from the Department of Labour, the employer gets laid with criminal charges and the business is shut down – which can cost some companies millions!

Only then do they ask why procedures weren't in place or followed correctly. Only then do they start to see how important health and safety is. By then, it's too late.

But it doesn't have to be…

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10 Important responsibilities of your emergency controller in the event of a fire
  1. Take control of the emergency and direct all actions. Proper emergency preparation will help your emergency controller know how to do this.
  2. Your priority is to protect life, then property and then minimise loss.
  3. Notify the affected area's emergency officials (your fire fighter and first aider) and tell them what to do.
  4. Receive and evaluate information from the area emergency officials.
  5. Keep status lists showing the safety of each department. For example, if your employees are in different departments or areas, keep a list of which areas are clear from the fire and deemed safe. If necessary, shutdown the area.

Keep reading for five more lifesaving responsibilities of your emergency controller.

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5 more important responsibilities of your emergency controller in the event of a fire
  1. Order your staff to evacuate.
  2. Call and liaise with external support (Your fire department and ambulances).
  3. Despatch support services as needed.
  4. Advise and maintain contact with executive management.
  5. By law, you must keep a diary of events and all the records. You need these for investigations and reporting to the authorities.

Your emergency controller is one of the most important people in the event of emergencies. Make sure you appoint a responsible, reliable person to fulfil this role. Don't risk your employees' lives by ignoring your emergency evacuation plans and policies.


Stay safe,


Louise Harty
Senior Product Manager: Health & Safety

PS – Are you sure that your first aiders have received the proper training? Why not save yourself thousands? Use our Emergency First Aid Planning kit to ensure you train them on everything they need to know.


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