Emergency and Evacuation Policy
Mandatory – Quality Area 2
This policy will provide a framework for:
- the development of specific emergency and evacuation procedures, practices and guidelines at Elsa Macleod Kindergarten Inc.
- raising the awareness of everyone attending Elsa Macleod Kindergarten Inc. about potential emergency situations and appropriate responses.
Elsa Macleod Kindergarten Inc. is committed to:
- providing a safe environment for all children, staff and persons participating in programs at Elsa Macleod Kindergarten Inc.
- having a plan to manage emergency situations in a way that reduces risk to those present on the premises
- ensuring effective procedures are in place to manage emergency incidents at the service
- ensuring an appropriate response during and following emergency incidents to meet the needs of the children, their families, staff and others at the service.
This policy applies to the Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, Certified Supervisor, educators, staff, students on placement, volunteers, parents/guardians, children and others attending the programs and activities of Elsa Macleod Kindergarten Inc., including during offsite excursions and activities.
3. Background and legislation
The Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011 define an emergency in relation to an education and care service as any situation or event that poses an imminent or severe risk to the persons at the service premises e.g. flood, fire or a situation that requires the service premises to be locked down.
Comprehensive emergency management includes prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.
Services are required to have policies and procedures in place detailing what needs to be done in an emergency, including an emergency and evacuation floor plan. These policies and procedures must be based on a risk assessment that identifies potential emergencies relevant to the service (Regulation 97).
Early childhood services have a duty of care to the children, staff, volunteers, students, visitors and all attending the facility. It is also a requirement under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 that employers provide a healthy and safe environment for all persons who access the service’s facilities and/or programs.
All services in Victoria are required to have an Emergency Management Plan (EMP) as part of their everyday ‘best practice’ operations. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) provides Emergency Management Plan Guidelines and an Emergency Management Plan template to assist services develop and review their EMP (refer to Sources below for the link). All services must complete the required sections of the plan and lodge it with the relevant DEECD regional office. A copy should also be attached to this policy.
Legislation and standards
Relevant legislation and standards include but are not limited to:
- Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010
- Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011: Regulations 97, 98, 168(2)(e)
- National Quality Standard, Quality Area 2: Children’s Health and Safety
– Standard 2.3: Each child is protected
– Element 2.3.3 – Plans to effectively manage incidents and emergencies are developed in consultation with relevant authorities, practised and implemented
- Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
The terms defined in this section relate specifically to this policy. For commonly used terms e.g. Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, Regulatory Authority etc. refer to the General Definitions section of this manual.
Attendance record: Kept by the service to record details of each child attending the service including name, time of arrival and departure, signature of person delivering and collecting the child or of the Nominated Supervisor or educator (Regulation 158(1)).
Country Fire Authority (CFA): CFA respond to a variety of fire and emergency incidents. They are also involved in a range of other activities including:
- fire safety building inspections
- delivering community awareness, education and safety programs
- post-incident analysis and fire investigation
- fire prevention planning and land use planning at a municipal level.
Duty of care: A common law concept that refers to the responsibilities of organisations to provide people with an adequate level of protection against harm and all reasonable foreseeable risk of injury.
Emergency: Includes any situation or event that poses an imminent or severe risk to the persons at the education and care service premises e.g. flood, fire or a situation that requires the service premises to be locked down (National Regulations, page 5).
Emergency Management Plan (EMP): A written set of instructions to assist the Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, educators and staff to deal with incidents or situations that could pose a threat to life, health or property. Emergency Management Plan Guidelines and an Emergency Management Plan template are available on the DEECD website (refer to Sources below).
Hazard: A source or situation with a potential for harm in terms of human injury or ill health, damage to property, damage to the environment or a combination of these.
Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Record: Contains details of any incident, injury, trauma or illness that occurs while the child is being educated and cared for by the service. Any incident, injury, trauma or illness must be recorded as soon as is practicable but not later than 24 hours after the occurrence. Details required include the:
- name and age of the child
- circumstances leading to the incident, injury, trauma or illness (including any symptoms)
- time and date
- details of action taken by the service including any medication administered, first aid provided or medical personnel contacted
- details of any witnesses
- names of any person the service notified or attempted to notify, and the time and date of this
- signature of the person making the entry, and time and date of this.
These details must be kept for the period of time specified in Regulation 183. A sample Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Record is available on the ACECQA website.
Mandatory closure: When services identified as being at high bushfire risk are directed by DEECD to close on days declared a Code Red Fire Danger Rating day.
Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB): provide a fire and rescue service and are the first to respond to specific medical emergencies. The MFB aims to reduce the incidence and impact of fire and other emergencies on the community. This is achieved through the delivery of educational strategies that assist the community to become more self-reliant, including:
- fire safety building inspections, and checking fire fighting equipment
- delivering community awareness, education and safety programs.
Notifiable incident: An incident involving workplace health and safety that is required by law to be reported to WorkSafe Victoria. Notification is required for incidents that result in death or serious injury/illness, or dangerous occurrences. For a complete list of incidents that must be reported to WorkSafe Victoria, refer to the Guide to Incident Notification on the WorkSafe Victoria website: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au
Risk management: A structured approach to managing uncertainty related to a threat; a sequence of activities including the identification, assessment and prioritisation of risks followed by co-ordinated and economical application of resources to minimise, monitor and control the probability and/or impact of those risks.
Serious incident: An incident resulting in the death of a child, or an injury, trauma or illness for which the attention of a registered medical practitioner, emergency services or hospital is sought or should have been sought. This also includes an incident in which a child appears to be missing, cannot be accounted for, is removed from the service in contravention of the regulations or is mistakenly locked in/out of the service premises (Regulation 12). A serious incident should be documented in an Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Record (sample form available on the ACECQA website) as soon as possible and within 24 hours of the incident. The Regulatory Authority (DEECD) must be notified within 24 hours of a serious incident occurring at the service (Regulation 176(2)(a)). Records are required to be retained for the periods specified in Regulation 183.
State Emergency Service (SES): Volunteer-based organisation responding to emergencies and working to ensure the safety of communities around Victoria.
State of emergency: A situation in which the government is granted special powers, by constitutional or legal provision, to deal with a perceived threat to law and order, or public safety.
WorkSafe Victoria: The manager of Victoria’s workplace safety system. WorkSafe Victoria’s responsibilities are to:
- help avoid workplace injuries occurring
- enforce Victoria’s occupational health and safety laws
- provide reasonably priced workplace injury insurance for employers.
- Australian Standards: Emergency control organisation for buildings, structures and workplaces
- Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Emergency Management Plan Guidelines and Emergency Management Plan: www.education.vic.gov.au/management/
- Metropolitan Fire Brigade: www.mfb.vic.gov.au
- Country Fire Authority: www.cfa.vic.gov.au
- State Emergency Service: www.ses.vic.gov.au
- WorkSafe Victoria: www.worksafe.vic.gov.au
- Administration of First Aid Policy
- Administration of Medication Policy
- Delivery and Collection of Children Policy
- Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Policy
- Occupational Health and Safety Policy
- Staffing Policy
- Supervision of Children Policy
- completing the DEECD Emergency Management Plan (refer to Sources for the link), lodging this with the relevant DEECD regional office and attaching a copy to this policy
- conducting a risk assessment to identify potential emergencies that the service may encounter (Regulation 97(2)) (refer to attached Emergency Management Plan)
- developing instructions for what must be done in the event of an emergency (Regulation 97(1)(a)) (refer to attached Emergency Management Plan)
- appointing an Incident Management Team (IMT) to oversee safety at the service in the event of an emergency (refer to attached Emergency Management Plan)
- developing an emergency and evacuation floor plan (Regulation 97(1)(b)) (refer to attached Emergency Management Plan)
- ensuring that the emergency and evacuation procedures are rehearsed at least once every 3 months by all at the service (Regulation 97(3)(a))
- ensuring that the rehearsals of the emergency and evacuation procedures are documented (Regulation 97(3)(b)) (refer to attached Emergency Management Plan)
- ensuring that a copy of the emergency and evacuation floor plan and instructions are displayed in a prominent position near each exit at the service premises (Regulation 97(4))
- ensuring that those working at, or attending the service, have access to a phone or similar for immediate communication with parents/guardians and emergency services (Regulation 98), and that phone numbers of emergency services are displayed
- identifying potential onsite hazards and taking action to manage and minimise risk (refer to attached Emergency Management Plan)
- ensuring all infrastructure and service equipment are regularly checked for condition and maintenance, including emergency exit lighting
- ensuring the location of first aid kits, fire extinguishers and other emergency equipment are clearly signposted
- ensuring all emergency equipment is maintained on a regular basis in accordance with requirements specified by regulations, such as the Australian Standards Building Code e.g. fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, evacuation kits, sprinkler systems and alarm or duress systems
- providing a fully-equipped portable first aid kit (refer to Administration of First Aid Policy)
- developing a regular training schedule for staff to ensure that they are able to deal with emergency situations e.g. first aid, emergency management and OHS training
- regularly reviewing, evaluating and updating emergency management plans, manuals and procedures (at least annually or following an emergency incident)
- developing procedures to debrief staff following emergency incidents
- notifying DEECD in writing within 24 hours of a serious incident (refer to Definitions)
- completing the Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Record (refer to Definitions) where required
- notifying DEECD within 7 days of an incident that required the service to be closed, or a circumstance that posed a significant risk to the health, safety or wellbeing of a child attending the service (National Law: Section 174(2)(c); Regulations: 175(2)(b)&(c), 176)
- reporting notifiable incidents (refer to Definitions) in the workplace to WorkSafe Victoria
- engaging with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and/or Country Fire Authority regarding fire safety awareness and training for the service, including demonstrations of fire equipment, basic fire safety, smoke alarm, fire blankets and escape plans
- identifying staff and children requiring additional assistance in the event of an emergency (refer to attached Emergency Management Plan)
- ensuring that emergency contact details are provided on each child’s enrolment form and that these are kept up to date
- ensuring that an attendance record (refer to Definitions) is maintained to account for all children attending the service
- keeping a written record of all visitors to the service, including time of arrival and departure
- ensuring all staff, parents/guardians, children, volunteers and students on placement understand the procedures to follow in the event of an emergency
- ensuring there are induction procedures in place to inform new staff, including casual or relief staff, of the emergency and evacuation policy and procedures
- ensuring all staff, parents/guardians, children, volunteers, students on placement and others attending the service are accounted for in the event of an evacuation
- developing procedures to deal with loss of critical functions, such as power/water shut off.
- ensuring that the emergency and evacuation floor plan is displayed in prominent positions and that all parents/guardians, volunteers, contract staff and relief staff are briefed and aware of the procedures
- ensuring that children are adequately supervised at all times and protected from hazards and harm (refer to Supervision of Children Policy)
- ensuring that the Emergency Management Plan (attached) is followed in the event of an emergency
- testing alarms and communication systems regularly, such as on a monthly basis
- informing the Approved Provider of any serious or notifiable incidents (refer to Definitions) that must be reported to DEECD or WorkSafe Victoria.
- implementing the procedures and responsibilities in this policy and the service’s Emergency Management Plan (attached)
- supervising the children in their care and protecting them from hazards and harm (refer to Supervision of Children Policy)
- providing support to children before, during and after emergencies
- checking that the attendance record (refer to Definitions) is completed at the beginning and end of each session
- checking that the emergency evacuation procedure is displayed in prominent positions and that all attending the service are made aware of these (refer to attached Emergency Management Plan)
- rehearsing emergency evacuation procedures with the children at least once every 3 months (or more often, as required) and ensuring that these are documented (refer to attached Emergency Management Plan)
- providing feedback regarding the effectiveness of emergency and evacuation procedures to inform policy, procedures and manuals etc.
- completing the Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Record, as required
- informing the Approved Provider about any serious incidents or notifiable incidents (refer to Definitions) at the service
- attending first aid, emergency management and OHS training, as required
- communicating with parents about emergency procedures
- raising children’s awareness about potential emergency situations and appropriate responses.
- familiarising themselves with the service’s emergency and evacuation policy and procedures and the service’s Emergency Management Plan (attached)
- ensuring they complete the attendance record (refer to Definitions) on delivery and collection of their children (refer to Delivery and Collection of Children Policy)
- providing emergency contact details on their child’s enrolment form and ensuring that this is kept up to date
- reinforcing the service’s emergency and evacuation procedures with their child
- following the directions of staff in the event of an emergency or when rehearsing emergency procedures.
5. Sources and related policies
The Approved Provider is responsible for:
The Nominated Supervisor is responsible for:
Certified Supervisors and other educators are responsible for:
Parents/guardians are responsible for:
Volunteers and students, while at the service, are responsible for following this policy and its procedures.
In order to assess whether the values and purposes of the policy have been achieved, the Approved Provider will:
- review the policy to determine whether it adequately addresses a range of potential emergency situations
- regularly seek feedback from everyone affected by the policy regarding its effectiveness particularly following an emergency
- assess the ability of the Nominated Supervisor, Certified Supervisor, educators, staff, children and others to follow the policy and procedures in the event of an emergency
- review procedures, including evacuation procedures, to determine their effectiveness, including timing and processes
- use information gained from spot checks and the Incident, Injury, Trauma and Illness Record to inform proposed changes to this policy
- revise the policy and procedures as part of the service’s policy review cycle, or as required by legislation, research, policy and best practice
- consult with emergency services such as the MFB and CFA, to ensure the policy and procedures meet current best practices
- notify parents/guardians at least 14 days before making any change to this policy or its procedures.
Complete DEECD’s Emergency Management Plan and file a copy as an attachment to this policy. The template is available at www.education.vic.gov.au/management/emergency.htm
This policy was adopted by the Approved Provider of Elsa Macleod Kindergarten Inc. in May, 2014
Review date: February, 2018