Emergency Response Plans

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Emergency Response Plans

Does your business deal with large quantities of hazardous substances?

Hazardous substances include any things that are:

  • Explosive
  • Flammable
  • Oxidising
  • Toxic
  • Corrosive
  • Harmful to the environment

If so, you must have an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) to ensure their safe management. 

Detailed information on what should be included in an ERP is available from Worksafe New Zealand

Emergency Response Plans   

You must have an ERP when dealing with a hazardous substance in excess of a trigger quantity - i.e. a certain amount for the classification of that substance. 

The trigger quantities for each hazardous substance classification are listed in the Health and Safety at Work (Hazardous Sustances) Regulations 2017.

If a substance falls under more than one hazard classification, the relevant trigger is the lowest trigger quantity for those hazard classifications. 

Responsibility for the Emergency Response Plans (ERP) 

The person in charge of the location where the hazardous substance is being stored is responsible for preparing the ERP.

The plan must identify and advise any additional people of their role and involvement in the ERP, and their prescribed actions in the plan. 

Reviewing the Emergency Response Plans (ERP)

Where Fire and Emergency New Zealand has a role in your ERP, you must provide us with a copy of it and we will review it. The plan should be sent to your local Area Manager. Contact your local Area office.

When we review an ERP, we consider:

  • Will the actions required by Fire and Emergency New Zealand be initiated by a 111 call or by activation of a monitored fire alarm system?
  • Do we have the necessary appliances, equipment, personnel knowledge and capability to respond to an emergency involving the substance?
  • Are the actions required to respond in line with policy and procedures?
  • Will responding to an incident involving this substance require a regionally or nationally sourced incident management team if the incident is large and/or complex?

We also consider:

  • Whether emergency teams or other specialist advisors are present on the site, including their capability and their roles.
  • Whether the requirements for testing the ERP are achievable by Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

Responding to your Emergency Response Plan (ERP) 

When we review your ERP, we'll review our role within the plan and offer any advice on how to improve relevant sections. 

If the ERP does not address specific requirements, we will return it to you with a detailed information request. 

Once the plan is agreed with Fire and Emergency New Zealand, you should keep a copy of all correspondence to validate your compliance to your compliance certifier (test certifier).