Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Emergency procedures

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

Further Information

  • Duties of emergency personnel
  • Evacuation drills

Contact


In an emergency call

(+61) 8 6488 2222 
For life threatening emergencies call 000 then (+61) 8 6488 2222.

Emergency procedures booklet

This information is available in hard copy from the UWA Telephone Exchange (ext: 99 or 2377) or from Safety, Health and Wellbeing (ext: 3938) or may be downloaded below.

UWA Emergency Procedures Version 4: 2016
UWA Emergency Procedures Version 4: 2016

 

To comply with relevant Western Australian legislation, codes and guidance materials, emergency procedures are prepared and distributed, emergency warning systems installed in most buildings and an Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) is organised and trained for each workplace.

Each workplace at the university is required to have fully implemented emergency procedures. The procedures that follow are designed to assist in the organisation and implementation of emergency procedures for workplaces at the University of Western Australia. For assistance in implementing emergency procedures in your building/area, please contact Safety, Health and Wellbeing on (+61) 8 6488 3938.

The ECO consists of Building Wardens, Area Wardens and First Aid Officers, as well as outside agencies such as Fire and Emergency Services.

The role of the Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) is to ensure the safety of the building’s occupants in any emergency. During emergencies, instructions from ECO personnel (that is, Wardens and Fire and Emergency Services personnel) overrule the normal management structure.

Familiarise yourself with the various emergency alarms and signals, break glass alarms, evacuation routes, emergency exits, assembly areas, Building Warden, Area Wardens and First Aid Officers in your area and building.

  1. Emergency procedures
  2. Emergency evacuation
  3. Fire/smoke
  4. Personal injury
  5. Personal threat
  6. Bomb threat
  7. Bomb threat checklist
  8. Suspicious mail or package
  9. Radioisotope or biohazard spill
  10. Chemical hazard/spill/gas leak
  11. People with specific needs
  12. Evacuation of lecture theatres, libraries, classrooms and teaching laboratories
  13. Fire

Emergency procedures

Objectives

The objective of these procedures is to ensure, as far as practicable, the safety, health and well being of staff, students, contractors and visitors during emergencies at The University of Western Australia.

To comply with relevant Western Australian legislation, codes and guidance materials, emergency procedures are prepared and distributed, emergency warning systems installed in most buildings and an Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) is organised and trained for each workplace.

Emergency Control Organisation (ECO)

The ECO consists of Building Wardens, Area Wardens and First Aid Officers, as well as outside agencies such as Fire and Rescue Services.

The role of the ECO is to ensure the safety of the building’s occupants in any emergency.

During emergencies, instructions from ECO personnel (i.e. Wardens and Fire and Emergency Services personnel) overrule the normal management structure.

Familiarise yourself with the various emergency alarms and signals, break glass alarms, evacuation routes, emergency exits, assembly areas, Building Warden, Area Wardens and First Aid Officers in your area and building.

Phone numbers

From external or mobile phone lines use the prefix 6488

  • Emergency: 2222 (24 hours)
  • Security: 3020
  • Building Operations: 2009
  • Safety, Health and Wellbeing: 3938
  • Mail Room: 3035
  • University Medical Centre: 2118
  • Campus Management Help Desk :2025
  • Counselling and Psychological Services: 2423
  • Employee Assistance Program Provider (Optum): 1300 361 008
  • Emergency (public phone): 1800 655 222                       

Relevant web links

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Emergency evacuation

DON'T PANIC

At all times during an emergency follow the instructions of the Building and Area Wardens.

  1. On hearing the evacuation alarm, immediately prepare to leave the building – secure confidential materials and valuables, collect personal belongings, shut down experiments, switch off computers, electrical appliances, equipment and machinery.
  2. If the evacuation alarm sounds, or if instructed to do so by a Warden, leave the building by the nearest and safest exit route. All doors should be closed (but not locked) on leaving.
  3. If possible take hand held personal belongings (such as handbags and briefcases) with you when you leave. Do not return to collect belongings.
  4. Assist any person with a disability to leave the building, or to the nearest fire isolated or firesafe haven for multi-storey buildings. Do not attempt to carry people down stairs. See the People with Specific Needs section.
  5. Walk quickly and calmly to the designated assembly area for your building or as advised by a Warden or Fire and Emergency Services personnel.

DO NOT USE THE LIFTS

  1. Remain at the assembly area (in groups) until instructed to leave by a Warden or Fire and Emergency Services personnel.
  2. Do not re-enter the building until informed that it is safe to do so by a Warden or Fire and Emergency Services personnel. Do not enter a building in alarm.

In the event of an earthquake

  • Take shelter under tables, desks or in doorways.
  • Stay away from windows, shelving and large free-standing furniture.
  • After the earthquake, look for injured persons in your area and assist, provided it is safe to do so.
  • Leave the building as soon as your are able to.

Lecture theatres/laboratories

It is the responsibility of the lecturer/tutor to ensure that their class is evacuated and to maintain control of the students during an emergency until released by the ECO.

Cafes/public theatres/public venues

University staff will arrange for and provide information to patrons during emergency situations and evacuations.

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Fire/smoke

Raise the alarm

  1. If safe to do so ensure the immediate safety of anyone within the vicinity of the fire.
  2. Raise the alarm if not already sounding, using a break glass alarm panel or by shouting ‘Fire, Fire, Fire’ if a panel is not available. The alarm system automatically notifies the Fire and Emergency Services and Security (who then notifies other emergency personnel).
  3. Phone Security (call 2222). Give your name, building, level, room number, type and extent of the fire/smoke and inform your supervisor or Building Warden if safe to do so.
  4. Evacuate the immediate area.

Fire fighting

  1. If safe to do so and if trained in the use of fire equipment – attempt to extinguish the fire.
  2. Choose the correct fire extinguisher. Do not use water or foam on an electrical fire.

Evacuate

  1. Evacuate the building as instructed to do so by a Warden.
  2. Walk quickly and calmly to the assembly area.
  3. Close doors and windows as you exit - do not lock doors. Leave lights on.

DO NOT USE THE LIFTS

  1. Remain in the assembly area in groups until instructed to leave by a Warden or Fire and Emergency Services personnel.
  2. Do not re-enter the building until informed that it is safe to do so by the ECO or Fire and Emergency Services personnel.

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Personal injury

Personal injury - minor

  1. Contact the nearest First Aid Officer within the building.
  2. Send the injured person to Campus Medical Centre if necessary (business hours only).
  3. Inform supervisor.
  4. Complete a confidential incident /injury report form.

Personal injury – major

  1. Care for injured person(s) – call for assistance.
  2. Send someone to phone Security (call 2222).
  3. For life threatening emergencies call external 000 then phone Security (6488) 2222.

Provide all information

  • Name;
  • Location (building, level, room number);
  • Nature and type of injury;
  • State of consciousness of the injured person(s);
  • Age and gender of the injured person(s);
  • If possible, the names of the injured person(s); and
  • Any relevant information – breathing/not breathing, chest pains, bleeding.
  1. Ensure the area is clear for emergency personnel.
  2. Inform your supervisor.
  3. Complete a confidential incident/injury report form.

Familiarise yourself with the current First Aid Officers and location of first aid kits in your area. This information is also available from your Safety Officer, Safety and Health Representative or Building Warden.

If assaulted

  1. Phone Security (call 6488 2222) and provide details of the assault as soon as possible.
  2. Do not wash, shower, change clothes or clean up in any way until after obtaining medical assistance and talking to the Police. You could destroy vital evidence.
  3. Do not drink alcohol or take tranquilisers or other drugs as you will have to give a clear account of what has happened. Try to remember everything you can about your attacker.
  4. Remember, you are the victim. You have nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. Police Officers are aware that a person who has been assaulted is likely to be suffering from emotional shock. They will do all they can to make things as easy as possible for you.

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Personal threat

Violent / threatening person

  1. If safe to do so, note and report such persons – phone Security (call 2222) or your Supervisor or Area Warden.
  2. If confronted, obey instructions if safe to do so:
    • Do not argue or provoke the person.
    • Do not attempt to physically subdue the person.
    • Back away and alert others to move away also.
    • Make it easy for the person to leave the building/area.

    If the person appears psychotic (unusual behaviour, saying odd things)

    • Try and create a calm, non-threatening atmosphere. Reduce distractions, turn off noisy equipment and computer monitors.
    • Talk slowly, quietly, firmly and simply.
    • Avoid direct eye contract, do not get too close.
    • If you can get the person to calm down, try and get them to sit down with you.
    • Do not try to reason with acute psychosis. They may be acting this way because hallucinations and voices that they are hearing are very real to them.
    • Express empathy for the person’s emotional distress, but do not pretend that the delusions or voices are real for you.
    • Comply with reasonable requests.
  1. Observe carefully:
    • Any articles touched by the person.
    • Physical details and attire.
    • Points which may aid description (including mannerisms).
    • Direction that the person took when they left the area.
  1. Phone Security (call 2222) and provide details of the incident as soon as possible, advise of any unusual behaviour – seek advice on next action.
  2. Record information for Police
  3. Be prepared to evacuate or secure the building/area – await further instructions from Security.

Lecture theatre/laboratories. It is the responsibility of the lecturer/tutor to maintain controlover their class during an emergency until released by the ECO.

Civil disorder/illegal occupancy

  1. Phone Security (call 2222) and request assistance.
  2. Notify the Building Warden.
  3. If safe to do so – initiate action to:
    • Restrict entry to the building
    • Confine presence to the ground floor
    • Restrict contact between demonstrators and building occupants
    or
    • Evacuate the building.
  1. Notify nominated managers and/or supervisors
  2. Be prepared to evacuate – await further instructions from Security.

Lecture theatres/laboratories. It is the responsibility of the lecturer/tutor to maintain control over their class during an emergency until released by the ECO.

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Bomb threat

General

Above all - keep calm and do not alarm others

  1. If the threat is by telephone

Prolong the call – keep the person talking and ask:

  • Location of bomb
  • Time set to explode
  • Record exact information – see following bomb threat checklist
  • Do not replace the handset (this enables calls to be traced).
  1. Record information for Police.
  1. If an object is found:
  • Do not touch
  • Report the find to Security (call 2222)
  • Keep areas clear.

Basic rules:

  • Treat as genuine
  • Record exact information.
  1. Do not use mobile phones, two way radios or other electronic equipment that may trigger a device – turn off mobile phones and two way radios.

Raise the alarm

  1. Phone Security (call 2222)
    • Notify the Building Warden.
    • Do not use break-glass alarm, public address system, mobile phones or two-way radios.

Evacuate

  1. Be prepared to evacuate – await further instructions from Security.
  2. Evacuate the building as instructed to do so by the Building Warden.

Persons should be requested to remove all personal belongings (such as briefcases, bags and other personal articles) when evacuating.

Lecture theatres/laboratories: It is the responsibility of the lecturer/tutor to maintain control over their class during an emergency until released by the ECO.

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Bomb threat checklist

Try to record the exact wording of the threat

Make as many notes as you can on paper.

Keep caller talking – try and obtain as much information as possible

Ask the following questions:

  • What is it?
  • Where is it?
  • What does it look like?
  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • How will the bomb explode?
  • Did you put it there?
  • When did you put it there?
  • Why did you put it there?
  • What is your name?
  • Where are you now?
  • What is your address?

Estimate:

  • Age in years
  • Accent (specify)

Remember keep calm - do not hang up

Voice Speech Manner Telephone Background
man fast calm local man
woman slow angry std talk
child distinct/cultured emotional trunk typing
unknown impeded loud public children
  stutter soft private traffic
  nasal pleasant mobile machine
  hesitant raspy   airport
  uneducated intoxicated   trains
  other other   other

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Suspicious mail or package

If suspicious mail or package has not been opened

  1. Place item in a plastic bag and seal it. Place all items in a second plastic bag and seal that bag.
  2. Stay in your office or immediate work area. This also applies to co-workers in the same room. Prevent others from entering the area and becoming potentially contaminated. It is unlikely you will be in immediate danger.
  3. Phone Security (call 2222) and Mail Room (call 3035 or 3021).

Advise:

  • Exact location of incident – building, level, room number
  • Number of people potentially exposed
  • Description of the package/device
  • Action taken (e.g. package sealed or covered, area isolated).
  1. Keep your hands away from your face to avoid contaminating your eyes, nose and mouth.
  2. If possible (without leaving your work area) wash your hands.
  3. Wait for help to arrive.

If suspicious mail or package has been opened

  1. Do not disturb the item any further. Do not pass it around. If any material has spilt from the item, and if feasible to do so, do not attempt to clean it up, or brush it from your clothing.
  2. If possible place an object over the package without disturbing it (such as a large waste bin).
  3. Follow steps 2 to 7 above.
  4. If possible, have the building ventilation system shut down and turn off any fans or equipment that is circulating air around your workplace.
  5. Wait for help to arrive.

If it is suspected that the item is an explosive device

  1. Phone Security (call 2222) and Mail Room (call 3035 or 3021).
  2. Evacuate the area.

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Radioisotope or biohazard spill

Raise the alarm

  1. Ensure the immediate safety of anyone within the vicinity of the spill.
  2. Evacuate the immediate area around the spill.
  3. Report the spill to your supervisor and Safety Officer or Safety, Health and Wellbeing (call 3938)and Security (call 2222).

Isolate the hazard

  1. Anyone who has been exposed must, if safe to do so, be moved to a safe decontamination area. The treatment of serious injury must take precedence over decontamination and containment.

If unsure of the hazards presented and associated risks to safety and health, consult your supervisor, or Safety Officer, or Safety, Health and Wellbeing prior to taking any action.

  1. Restrict unnecessary movement into and through the area to avoid spreading contamination. Isolate the affected area at a safe distance by erecting a temporary barricade and placing radioactive or biohazard warning signs.

Clean-up

  1. Do not re-enter the area until it has been decontaminated by personnel trained specifically in  radiation or biological safety, as appropriate. For any clean-up activities there must be a minimum of two people.

Evacuate

  1. Evacuate the building as instructed to do so by the emergency personnel.
  2. Walk quickly and calmly to the assembly area or as advised by the emergency personnel.
  3. Remain in the assembly area in groups.

In the case of a fire every effort must be made to prevent undue spreading of contamination. However, fire fighting must take precedence over the control of contamination.

Lecture theatres / laboratories. It is the responsibility of the lecturer/tutor to ensure that their class is evacuated and to maintain control of the students during the emergency until released by the ECO.

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Chemical hazard/ spill / gas leak

Raise the alarm

  1. Ensure the immediate safety of anyone within the vicinity of the spill.
  2. Evacuate the immediate area around the spill.
  3. Report the spill to your supervisor and Safety Officer or Safety, Health and Wellbeing (call 3938) and Security (call 2222).

Isolate the hazard

  1. Anyone who has been exposed must, if safe to do so, be moved to a safe decontamination area. The treatment of serious injury must take precedence over decontamination and containment.

If unsure of the hazards presented and associated risks to safety and health, consult your supervisor, or Safety Officer, or Safety, Health and Wellbeing prior to taking any action.

  1. Restrict unnecessary movement into and through the area to avoid spreading contamination. Isolate the affected area at a safe distance by erecting a temporary barricade and placing suitable warning signs.
  2. It may be necessary to turn off the air conditioning to restrict the spread of gases and vapours.

Clean-up

  1. Do not re-enter the area until it has been decontaminated by personnel trained and equipped specifically in chemical safety. For any clean-up activities there must be a minimum of two people.

Evacuate

  1. Evacuate the buildings as instructed to do so by the emergency personnel.
  2. Walk quickly and calmly to the assembly area or as advised by the emergency personnel.
  3. Remain  in the assembly area in groups

In the case of a fire every effort must be made to prevent undue spreading of contamination. However, fire fighting must take precedence over the control of contamination.

Do not switch any electrical equipment (including light switches) ON or OFF, as these may spark and become an ignition source

Lecture theatres / laboratories. It is the responsibility of the lecturer/tutor to ensure that their class is evacuated and to maintain control of the students during the emergency until released by the ECO.

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People with specific needs

People’s needs may vary in emergency situations. There may be people who are frail; have a visual or hearing impairment; have mobility problems and use walking aids or wheelchairs; have limited walking or standing ability; are pregnant; have heart conditions or asthma or are prone to panic attacks; or they may get claustrophobic.

Responsibility of the person with a disability

Whether your disability is of a temporary or permanent nature, wherever possible it is important that you know what your needs are and plan ahead for emergency situations and/or evacuation.
  1. If you are an occupant of a University building or regular visitor and have specific needs, take the initiative to seek out the relevant Wardens or speak to your Supervisor / School Manager and consult them regarding your needs.
  2. Consider who you might ask for help and communicate your needs.
  3. Know the Exit routes in the buildings that you frequent, and check these for suitability, even if they are not your normal route of travel.
  4. Remember, you are encouraged to specify what assistance (if any) you may require from other people during an emergency. Do not assume that people around you will know what to do. If you are confident in giving instructions it can prevent being hindered by others offering inappropriate assistance.

Assisting people with physical disabilities

  1. Do not provide physical guidance, hold, lift or carry a conscious person without their permission. This includes pushing someone in a wheelchair, or ‘hurrying a person along’ by pushing them.
  2. Ask what assistance the person requires (such as clearing the path before them, walking alongside or behind on steps). Try to avoid offering advice or pre-empting what the person needs if you do not know the person.
  3. If a person is reliant on a wheelchair for mobility and there is no access available to get down stairs, another person should wait with them in a fire isolated stairwell until emergency services arrive, as it is the safest place. Ensure that the Building Warden is advised.
  4. If someone needs to be transferred or assisted from the floor, requiring a full body lift, it is best to get Fire and Emergency Services involved. Try providing a chair for the person to climb up on to. Do not try to lift them up unless you are trained to do so.
  5. Do not carry a person in their wheelchair down stairs. Either wait for their advice on how to proceed (minimum of two people required) or wait for emergency personnel.

People who may be disoriented or having a panic attack

  1. Reassure the person by talking calmly to them. Tell them that you will stay with them.
  2. Get the person to control their breathing. Breathe in and breathe out in unison to the count of three. Use your hands in an up and down motion to signal the tempo. Maintain eye contact.

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Additional information:

Evacuation of lecture theatres, libraries, classrooms and teaching laboratories

These areas require explicit organisation because of the potential for large numbers of people to be congregated in a small area. The person in charge of the class shall act as the Warden and is responsible for evacuation. Upon hearing an alert or when notified of an emergency the person in charge should direct students to:

  1. Stand fast and push chairs, large bags, etc. under desks or benches
  2. Turn off electrical devices and laboratory operations that are not safe to be left unattended
  3. In controlled sequence, move along gangways to main aisles and exit in an orderly manner through the nearest appropriate exit
  4. Move to the building assembly area.

These procedures need to be orderly to minimise crowding in aisles and doorways.

 

The University has a policy on Overcrowding in Venues and Teaching Spaces.

 

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Fire

Following UWA evacuation procedures in the event of uncontrolled fire is of the utmost importance. Fire can produce smoke that is difficult to see through and causes suffocation.

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