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Emergency management

Last updated February 2022

This chapter explains how to meet your health and safety obligation to prepare for and manage emergencies in your workplace.

How to prepare for emergencies in your workplace

Regardless of your industry, your business must have a plan to deal with emergencies in your workplace. This is called an emergency management plan.

Definition: Emergency Management Plan (EMP)

An EMP is a set of written instructions that explains what workers and others in the workplace should do in the event of an emergency.
Important: EMPs are particularly important for businesses with more than 15 employees. Even if you operate a small business, i.e. with fewer than 15 employees, you should still have an EMP in place.

EMPs are developed by an emergency planning committee, which usually comprises health and safety representatives (HSRs) and senior managers.

Definition: Emergency Planning Committee (EPC)

An emergency planning committee is the key group of people that determines the emergency risks in the workplace, and coordinates the development and monitoring of the EMP.


  • provides strategic planning to allow the business to respond to an emergency;
  • creates emergency management policies;
  • reviews legislative requirements, and ensures these requirements are met;
  • monitors and evaluates emergency management in the workplace;
  • allocates resources to train staff on emergency management; and
  • reports on how the business has dealt with emergencies.