9-11 May 2023
ICC Sydney

Managing Emergency Response Teams

By Australian Facilities Plumbing

Almost every facility will have an emergency response plan for incidents and emergencies. A good plan is one that outlines a swift initial response in order to minimise the disruption of the event(s) and, where necessary, facilitates the efficient recovery of core activities. For the facility which also maintains regular servicing and maintenance of its operations, the opportunity to test out the response plan is possibly quite rare. Emergencies can happen at any time. They can have a significant impact on the operation of your site, and can arise from a number of causes. An immediate response can be the difference between your site opening for operation in the morning – or not. With more than 17 years’ experience responding to emergencies, here are our top 5 tips to ensure your emergency team is assembled and ready, when you most need it!


Check service level agreements
Do they outline an emergency response plan and state they (the service provider) will attend to repairs after-hours? Some service providers will attend to business-hour emergency requests, yet for after-hours requests, they outsource jobs to another provider or cannot be contacted when they are really needed.

Express expectations clearly
Sometimes service providers don’t clearly outline the detail around response times. Particularly for after-hours emergencies, time-to-respond is critical to limiting the impacts of the emergency (eg. water damage / wastage). Ensure you understand the response times and if they are not included, or, differ from what is in the SLA, request they are included.

Confirm after-hours contact
Most providers will state an emergency after-hours number on contracts. Verify the after-hours contact number that has been given to you and that the number is “on-call” – whether it be a landline or mobile, you need to ensure that someone will answer.

Create emergency contact list
List key contacts in the event of an emer gency and keep visible (preferably by the phone). Depending on the nature of the emergency, it may be difficult to remember the company name that maintains the facility plumbing or security system. So a simple list of external service providers and also internal stakeholders will ensure the right people are called-to-arms as soon as possible.”

Schedule your maintenance
Facilities that defer maintenance of systems (particularly plumbing and air quality) run a greater risk of encountering complications that require immediate response to breakdowns and emergencies. Conducting regular inspections and servicing will no doubt reduce your reliance on an emergency response plan.

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