Work Health and Safety Policies

Bush Fire Policy

Bushfires are an inherent part of Australia’s environment. Bushfires can significantly impact lives, property, and the environment. The basic factors that determine whether a bushfire will occur include the presence of fuel, oxygen, and an ignition source. The intensity and speed the bushfire will spread depends on the current temperature, fuel load (fallen bark, leaf litter, small branches), fuel moisture (dry fuel will burn quickly, damp or wet fuel may not burn at all), wind speed, and slope angle.

 

Emergency management arrangements for fire safety differ within each state and territory and are determined by the State Emergency Services or combined emergency service agencies.

 

Regulation 97 and 168(2) of the Education and Care Services National Regulations require that every early childhood education and care service in Australia has an emergency and evaluation policy and procedure which includes:

  • a risk assessment to identify the potential emergencies relevant to the service;
  • instructions for what must be done in the event of an emergency and evacuation;
  • an emergency and evacuation floor plan and
  • the rehearsal of emergency and evacuation procedures every 3 months

(https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/#/view/regulation/2011/653/chap4/part4.2/div5/reg97)

This policy outlines the strategies and procedures the Service will adhere to in the event of a bush fire, including information about the Service closing during an emergency evacuation and forms part of our Service’s Emergency Management Plan (EMP). The EMP records the emergency management arrangements to ensure every reasonable precaution to protect children, staff, and visitors from harm and hazard is maintained at all times.

Aim

Ohana Early Learning aim is to have procedures in place for dealing with emergency situations or critical incidents that may arise at the Service, thereby ensuring the health and safety of all persons in, at or near the centre.

Legislative Requirements

Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010
Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011
Work Health and Safety Act 2011
Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011

Who Is Affected?

  • child
  • staff
  • management
  • families
  • visitors

Policy Implementation

Ring 000 if immediate threat of fire to Service.

Ring Fire Brigade for information on 000.

Evacuate service if advised by State Emergency Services or any emergency service personnel.

If there is plenty of time to evacuate before the threat of fire, the Approved Provider/Nominated Supervisor will notify parents to collect their children.

If an immediate evacuation is necessary, the Approved Provider/Nominated Supervisor will notify police as to where the staff and children are evacuating. Take roll, contact phone numbers. Advise police of mobile phone number. Take portable first aid kit, emergency pack including remote internet service, back up battery, iPad and hand crankable portable radio and drinking water. A roll is to be called before any evacuation occurs to ensure all personnel are on hand.

If time permits, the following safety measures should be implemented for the building by staff capable of implementing the measures:

  • Turn off electricity.
  • Hose outside of building.
  • Douse nearby shrubs and grass with water.
  • Close all doors.

If service centre is unable to be evacuated safely in time then the above processes should be implemented and the following processes followed:

• Advise 000 of the situation.

• Place children under tables with wet blankets on top and down sides of tables and remain there until fire has passed.

• Remain calm and comfort any child showing signs of distress. After assisting children under the shelter, one staff member to check building to be sure all children are sheltered.

Where individual centres are required to have a Bushfire Management Plan these are available from the Work Health & Safety notebook in Evernote. These should be referred to in the event of as bushfire event.

Policy Review

Policies are reviewed regularly by management, employees, parents and any interested parties to ensure that they comply with Laws, Regulations and Guidelines.

Change Date
Policy created. February 1, 2016
Policy reviewed. December 1, 2017