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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