There are many times a week that I’m often asked:
“Do I have to provide Fire and Warden training for my/our staff?”
“What’s the difference between Fire and Warden Training?”
So, I thought I should write a short blog to really point out the answers to those 2 questions to help people answer them for themselves.
Let’s first tackle “Do I have to provide Fire and Warden training for my/our staff?”
If you go by the legislation and standards of our state Victoria and country Australia – The short Answer is YES, for the following reasons:
- The Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S)/Work Health & Safety (WHS) legislation says the DUTY HOLDER (normally the person responsible in the business for their staff – CEO, Director, HR manager, Owner) shall (must do) ensure all staff and protected and safe at work.
- The Australian Standard AS3745-2010 (OH&S/WHS will call this standard up to ensure compliance for training staff in emergency process and procedures) requires staff to be trained in Fire & First Response once every 2 years at a minimum and Warden & Emergency Evacuation once every year.
- The penalty that was introduced in 2020 of MANSLAUGHTER can be avoided when investigated by WorkSafe if you comply to the legislated requirements.
The following are some reasons why it’s a good idea to follow the legislation:
- If an accident ever occurred (knock on wood it never does) if your staff are trained – hopefully in their efforts of following what they were trained – EVERYONE and the BUSINESS is Safe and not hurt.
- You avoid liability of not providing skills/tools to your staff to keep them safe
- WorkSafe and Insurance investigations are satisfied with the training you provided
- Staff feel more engaged and productive at work learning new skills and knowing that management care for them.
Now the next question:
“what’s the difference between Fire and Warden Training?”
This one is easy if you conceptionally work through the content.
Fire & First Response training:
Defines when it’s safe to fight fires, the training should cover the following topics:
- The components of fire
- The physics and actions/reactions of fire
- The different types of fires
- Different fire equipment and how to use it (theory)
- Using fire-fighting equipment (practical)
- Defining safe practise in fire and emergency situations
It gives a basic level of understanding and skill to staff to build confidence to take the appropriate action if/when a fire emergency is to occur.
Warden & Emergency Evacuation training:
Is about roles & responsibilities, process & procedures and safe practises in ALL types of emergency conditions (not confined just to fire, also internal/external disasters, armed intruders, medical emergency etc etc)
Warden & Emergency Evacuation should cover topics such as:
- Understanding and identifying people in the work place who hold responsibility of ensuring procedures are in place for emergencies
- Knowing what documentation is needed and produced
- Understanding the roles of ALL wardens/first aiders during an emergency and in a normal day
- Define and understand emergency scenarios
- Locate and operate emergency assets on site
- Evacuation process/procedures (theory)
- Evacuation process/procedures (practical) – normally a fire drill
Hopefully this not only answers the 2 most asked questions related to Fire and Warden training but also provides clarity on why its important to provide this training to staff.