Key learning in a recent emergency at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

A workplace emergency is an unwanted event however a recent emergency in NSW has provided some valuable lessons in preparation and preparedness for all worksites. A serious fire on a construction site led to the collapse of a large crane and during a coronial inquiry into the incident the coroner found that whilst the fire was extremely serious;

“The evacuation, however, was successful because those on site followed Lend Lease’s emergency response plan, which included radio emergency calls to relevant personnel and a physical check of all workers by the designated officer on each floor, the Coroner heard. She said the fact that no injuries occurred “was largely attributable to luck and to the highly successful operation in evacuating the site and measures taken to protect the general public”.

“The roles taken by Lend Lease in evacuating the site successfully and the role taken by police, Fire and Rescue and WorkCover in ensuring the ongoing protection of the public, deserves commendation,” she said” The coroner’s comments reinforce the need for workplaces to have a sound Emergency Plan that all staff can follow and know their role. A good plan will save lives, buildings and plant may be damaged or lost but are replaceable, a human life is not.

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Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) has recently conducted a review of service delivery, including services offered by TasFireTraining, TFS’ commercial training division.

From April 2021 TasFire Training will no longer be delivering training courses to the non-government sector apart from those workplaces that have on site Emergency Response Teams. We would like to thank you for your custom over the period we have built our relationship.

We understand that this is a big change, however this will allow TFS to focus on supporting the emergency response capability of government departments and emergency response teams in high risk industries with the resources we have available. The following links provide information on issues of compliance:

We recommend that you review the following Worksafe document: Managing the work environment and also refer to Section 5 Emergency Plans, and this fact sheet Fact sheet -Emergency Plans.

WHS Legislation requires workplaces to have an emergency plan in place and people are appropriately trained. The following is a Worksafe link to a code of practice laws-and-compliance / codes-of-practice

Advice on development and legislative requirements on Fire Evacuation Plans for specified buildings go to Evacuation Plans.

Scheduled public courses will proceed until the March 31, 2021and can be found here.

We undertake to monitor impacts of this decision on the sector over time and we encourage you to seek out an alternative training provider that meets your needs.

If you have any concerns or have any further questions please contact Acting Director of Training Jeff Harper on (03) 61665500 or by email to with the Subject: TasFire Training – withdrawal of services.

Justin Young