Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Wardens responsibilities

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.

Duties on noticing or becoming aware of an emergency.

Building Warden / Deputy Building Warden

(the deputy building warden is required to perform the duties of the building warden if that person is unavailable during an emergency)

On becoming aware of a potential emergency, shall determine the nature of the emergency and decide on the appropriate action. If an emergency is declared, the Building Warden shall initiate the emergency procedures which should include the following actions:

  • ensure that the appropriate emergency service has been notified. This can be achieved by contacting Security on (+61 8) 6488 2222
  • ensure that the area wardens are advised of the situation
  • initiate evacuation of the building/workplace
  • brief emergency service personnel on their arrival and thereafter act on the instructions of the emergency service's senior officer
  • being available, or organising area warden cover, at all times that the building is normally occupied
  • organising and distributing to all wardens and to all building occupants relevant information for use in an emergency, including details of the fire alarm system, the emergency warning system and the emergency procedures
  • prominently displaying evacuation procedures and plans for areas. Assistance can be obtained from Safety and Health
  • maintaining and distributing to all building occupants a current list of all Area Wardens and their Deputies with phone numbers and locations
  • training, or organising the training of newly-appointed area wardens in Emergency Control Organisation (ECO) operations
  • The building warden is responsible for ensuring that a warden is present in all workplace areas at all times during normal working hours.

Warden instructions can be edited to the individual building requirements.

Area wardens

Area Wardens are responsible for individual workplaces or areas of a workplace. An area warden, on becoming aware of the emergency, should implement the emergency procedures for their floor, which should include the following actions:

  • ascertain the extent of the emergency
  • assist people in immediate danger
  • raise alarm (break glass alarm, shout FIRE, FIRE, FIRE)
  • attempt to extinguish fire if safe to do so
  • implement evacuation of their workplace
  • perform methodical search of their area to ensure that all persons have been notified of emergency and have left, or are leaving, the workplace to the cluster point
  • assist mobility impaired persons
  • place a staff member at the entry points to ensure that nobody can enter the building pending permission to do so from the building warden or a member of the emergency services
  • communicate with building warden

For further details on the tasks involved with evacuation please see evacuation procedures.

A deputy area warden should be appointed for each area warden so to assume the warden's responsibilities when absent, and otherwise assist as required.

Area wardens should be appointed for each floor or zone of a building, to control the emergency procedures for that area, generally as directed by the building warden. However, area wardens have the authority to evacuate their area if there is any impending danger.

Area wardens must be familiar with:

  • the operation of the fire alarm system, the emergency warning system and any other equipment used to assist in the operation of emergency procedures for the building;
    • the area (floor or zone) they represent, including;
    • all means of egress and alternative escape routes;
    • the existence and position of rooms leading off blind passages; doors leading to dead-ends and any other confined areas in which persons could be located;
    • potentially hazardous materials or operations undertaken in their zone;
    • the location and operation of fire doors, smoke doors, fire blankets, portable fire extinguishers and fire hoses in their area;
    • the number and location of mobility-impaired persons in their area;
  • It is important that an area warden or a deputy area warden be available for each area during periods of normal occupancy. If possible, at least one area warden should be appointed each twenty persons employed in every area;

To assist building occupants and emergency services personnel to identify ECO personnel during an emergency the building warden and all area wardens should wear red caps with WARDEN written on. These caps can be obtained from the Safety and Health on (+61 8) 6488 3938.

All University Building and area wardens are protected under the terms of the University's Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance policies whilst undertaking their duties. These policies apply to all University staff provided they act within the scope of their duties and training and/or act in good faith. Protection is not provided under these policies for non University related activities.

Warden instructions can be edited to the individual building requirements. The area warden instructions can be laminated and inserted in the warden caps.