Hazardous Chemicals Emergency Planning FAQs

Hazardous Chemicals: Emergency Planning FAQs

 

Questions

  1. What is the purpose of submitting Emergency Plans to the MFS and CFS?
  2. Where do I send my draft Emergency Plan?
  3. What is the preferred format for the submission of draft and final Emergency Plans to the MFS and CFS?
  4. Will my draft Emergency Plan be reviewed by the MFS and/or the CFS?
  5. How will I know that the MFS and/or the CFS is not intending to review my draft Emergency Plan?
  6. Apart from receiving an "acknowledgement of receipt date" my Emergency Plan has not been reviewed by the MFS and/or the CFS, can my Emergency Plan be reviewed by the MFS and/or the CFS at a later date?
  7. Do I need to include my Safework SA Hazardous Chemicals Notification Number with my draft and final Emergency Plans?
  8. Circumstances at my facility have changed, a new on-site risk has arisen that is not currently addressed by the existing Emergency Plan, do I need to revise or amend my Emergency Plan?
  9. A change in circumstances at an adjacent facility has introduced a new risk which may potentially impact upon my site, do I need to revise or amend my Emergency Plan?
  10. Circumstances at my facility have not changed, is there any need for me to revise my Emergency Plan?
  11. How will my Emergency Plan be processed by the MFS and/or the CFS?
  12. Is there a requirement for the Final Emergency Plan to be stored on-site?
  13. Where can I access further information in relation to any other statutory obligations I may be required to meet?

 

Answers

1. What is the purpose of submitting Emergency Plans to the MFS and CFS?

The purpose of submitting an Emergency Plan to the MFS and CFS is threefold:

  1. Your draft Emergency Plan may be reviewed by the MFS and/or CFS and recommendations may be forwarded in relation to improving your Emergency Plan.
  2. The final Emergency Plan is required to be forwarded to a local MFS or CFS, depending on the area the business is located in. The receipt of a facility final Emergency Plan at a station may initiate a familiarisation visit by local fire crews and enable them to develop a Pre-Incident Plan which is tailored to your site.
  3. In the future, information in relation to the specific hazards associated with your site will be recorded electronically and the MFS/CFS Communications Centre will be able to initiate an appropriate response to an incident involving your site. Additionally the information will enable responding crews to formulate appropriate initial actions on arrival at an incident involving a notifiable site.

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2. Where do I send my draft Emergency Plan?

You can submit your draft Emergency Plan in either hard copy to the following address:

Scientific Officer, Special Risks Department, 99 Wakefield Street, Adelaide South Australia 5000

OR

You can submit your draft Emergency Plan by email to the following address:

SAMFSScientificOfficer@samfs.sa.gov.au 

Please include the premises address as the email SUBJECT.

Please attention all correspondence to the Scientific Officer.

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3. What is the preferred format for the submission of draft and final Emergency Plans to the MFS and CFS?

To reduce document storage, the MFS and CFS prefers draft and final Emergency Plans to be submitted electronically where possible. Word or PDF formats are preferred.

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4. Will my draft Emergency Plan be reviewed by the MFS and/or CFS?

As there are an estimated 5000 notifiable sites throughout South Australia it is not anticipated that the MFS and/or CFS will be able to review every Emergency Plan submitted.

Emergency Plans reviewed will be prioritised according to the quantity and nature of the dangerous goods stored/processed on site.

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5. How will I know that the MFS and/or CFS is not intending to review my draft Emergency Plan?

The MFS and/or CFS will forward a formal letter acknowledging receipt of your draft Emergency Plan – (Your "acknowledgement of receipt date"), this will usually be forwarded to you within one month of the MFS and/or CFS receiving your draft Emergency Plan. If you have an email address, your acknowledgement of receipt letter will be forwarded to you electronically.

The MFS and/or CFS will then process your draft Emergency Plan, if you have not received a formal response from the MFS and/or CFS within 90 days from your acknowledgement of receipt date, your draft Emergency Plan is not intended to be reviewed by the MFS and/or CFS.

If you have not received recommendations in relation to your Emergency Plan from the MFS and/or CFS within 90 days from your "acknowledgement of receipt date" your Emergency Plans status can be automatically modified to a "Final Emergency Plan" and formally implemented.

While waiting for the MFS and/or CFS to process your draft Emergency Plan, we strongly recommend that the draft Emergency Plan is implemented as an interim measure.

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6. Apart from receiving an "acknowledgement of receipt date" my Emergency Plan has not been reviewed by the MFS and/or CFS, can my emergency plan be reviewed by the MFS and/or CFS at a later date?

Yes, your Emergency Plan can be reviewed at a later stage, this may occur following your familiarisation visit by local MFS or CFS crews or where concerns about the adequacy of your Emergency Plan have arisen following an incident or the conduction of a simulated emergency drill exercise.

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7. Do I need to include my Safework SA Hazardous Chemicals Notification Number with my draft and final Emergency Plans?

Yes, it is very important that you include your Safework SA Hazardous Chemicals Notification Number with your submitted documentation.

This number will be recorded and collated by the MFS and CFS, an annual report of Emergency Plans received by the MFS and CFS will be forwarded to Safework SA.

Safework SA will match the MFS and CFS report against their records and notifiable sites may be subject to penalties from Safework SA if an Emergency Plan has not been submitted to the MFS and/or CFS in accordance with the relevant legislation.

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8. Circumstances at my facility have changed, a new on-site risk has arisen that is not currently addressed by the existing Emergency Plan, do I need to revise or amend my Emergency Plan?

Yes, Regulation 43 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2012 requires your Emergency Plan to be revised if there is a change in circumstances at your premises.

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9. A change in circumstances at an adjacent facility has introduced a new risk which may potentially impact upon my site, do I need to revise or amend my Emergency Plan?

If your site has Manifest quantities of Hazardous Chemicals as detailed in Schedule 11 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 and therefore subject to the provisions of Regulation 43 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 you are required to revised your Emergency Plan.

As a new hazard which has the potential to impact your site has been identified it is good practice to revise your Emergency Plan to address the new risk.

The MFS and CFS however, recommend that if a new off-site hazard has been identified which has the potential to impact your site your Emergency Plan should be appropriately revised to address the new off-site risk.

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10. Circumstances at my facility have not changed, is there any need for me to revise my Emergency Plan?

Yes, Regulation 43 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 requires Emergency Plans to be maintained so they remain effective.

The MFS and CFS recommends that this is a minimum of every 5 years and also recommend that your Emergency Plans' contact list is revised annually, this will ensure that organisational changes in personnel are captured and thereby assist in maintaining the currency of your Emergency Plan.

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11. How will my Emergency Plan be processed by the MFS and/or CFS?

A flowchart has been produced in PDF format detailing the process followed by the MFS and CFS after you have submitted your Emergency Plan.

You can download the flowchart here.

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12.  Is there a requirement for the Final Emergency Plan to be stored on site?

Yes, both Regulation 347, Regulation 361 and Regulation 557 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 have specific requirements in relation to providing copies of Final Emergency Plans to MFS and/or CFS.

Even though you are required to forward copies of the Final Emergency Plan to local fire stations, there is no guarantee that fire crews responding to an incident at your site will be in a position to access their copy of your Emergency Plan (e.g. they may be away from their station when they receive a request to respond to an incident or another station which does not hold a copy of your Emergency Plan may be requested to respond).

Therefore to ensure that fire service crews can readily access your Emergency Plan you must store it within a Fire Indicator Panel or within an "Emergency Services Information Cabinet." The cabinet needs to be located adjacent to the site's vehicle access point and be prominently labelled.

If your site has a number of emergency access point's considerations should be given to installing additional cabinets.

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13. Where can I access further information in relation to any other statutory obligations I may be required to meet?

For further information in relation to other obligations and statutory requirements associated with hazardous chemicals sites please go to the Safework SA website.

OR
call the Safework SA switchboard on 1300 365 255.

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