WHS: Emergency Response

All church premises should have an Emergency Response Plan. Church Council must ensure the plan is well documented and all necessary information is displayed.

Under normal circumstances, it may not be difficult to decide what course of action should be taken in an emergency.  It is more difficult to think calmly and clearly when a stressful situation occurs.  There are a number of strategies to help people respond appropriately in an emergency.  Leaders should be aware of the procedures to be followed and who will take charge.  The Emergency Response Plan should cover all of these points.  It is essential to perform a Risk Assessment for all activities the church is about to be engaged in. Identify all possible hazards/risks and implement safety systems/measures to ensure the risk is minimised to the greatest level possible.  It is wise to rehearse an appropriate response to various emergency scenarios.

where medical attention may be required (other than basic First Aid treatment)


After an accident, or an emergency, people may respond in unexpected ways.  Additional pastoral care may be required as well as professional trauma counselling and support.

Leaders are required to complete an Incident Report after any accident/incident or near miss, and lodge it with the Church Council.  Refer to “Incident Management - Accidents/Incidents or Near Misses)”

If the entire phone system is disabled due to a disaster such as flood/bushfire or even a building fire, consider contacting the phone service provider and diverting incoming calls to a mobile.  Where the number of incoming calls could be considerably high (eg. Synod office), it would be wise to divert the calls to a switched off number with a recorded message advising caller of the current situation at hand and an alternative number to call for emergencies only.  The nominated person to receive emergency calls should be determined ahead of time (with a backup person in case of absence etc.).

Relevant Information

  • Statutory Compliance & Property Policy, please contact Building Projects and Compliance Officer at property@sa.uca.org.au
  • Emergency Preparedness & Critical Incident Response Policy & Procedure

Relevant Forms

Other Relevant Information