Why Visitors To A Workplace Should Be Informed Of An Organisation’s Emergency Procedures


Why Visitors To A Workplace Should Be Informed Of An Organisation’s Emergency Procedures 

Visitors need to be informed of the procedures so that they can act appropriately in the
event of an emergency, thereby minimizing the risk to themselves as well as to other

Provision of such information will assist in the employer in complying with the requirements
of the MHSWR 1999 that relate to ensuring the safety of persons other than employees
working on the premises.

The general duty owed to persons other than employees under section 3 of the HASAWA is
also of relevance, as is the employer’s common law duty of care.

14 Points to Cover in Your Workplace Visitors Policy

A workplace visitors policy doesn’t have to be detailed to be effective. Consider including the following points:

  • Visits by nonemployees. State such visits are not allowed unless authorized by the company.
  • Authorization procedures. How does a visitor obtain authorization? Who within the company has the power to authorize visitors?
  • Off-limit areas. Identify any areas that are off limits to all visitors (e.g., confidential records, equipment, computer network).
  • Identification of visitors. Must visitors sign in and out? Must they present a photo identification? What type of photo identification? Must visitors wear identification badges or passes? Must they be escorted by a supervisor or company official?
  • Heightened requirements. Are there times when you need to increase restrictions (e.g., after hours, while key operations or processes are in progress, during holidays and weekends, after terrorist alerts)?
  • Visits by employees during nonworking hours. Some companies restrict regular employees’ access to the plant or office during off-hours. What procedures should be followed by an employee who has a legitimate reason to visit the premises after work hours?
  • Visits by employees on leave. Employees who are on leave may also stop by. Address how these individuals should be treated. For example, can the proud parent on a parental leave bring the newborn to the office for co-workers to see? What access is permitted for employees who are on partial leave and are working at home?
  • Former employees. How are former employees treated? Are they treated just like nonemployees?
  • Vendors, suppliers, and contractors. Are vendors and others required to sign-in? Is there a color-coded badge? Are they escorted everywhere? Is their access limited?
  • Temporary employees. Are temporary employees treated like regular employees or like contractors?
  • Visits by friends and family members. Some employers consider friends and family members “outsiders” and restrict their visits accordingly; others feel that with the supervisor’s authorization, family members in particular should be allowed to visit on occasion to see where the employee works. What about emergency situations, when a friend or family member must see an employee immediately?
  • Recording devices. May visitors bring into your building recording devices, such as cameras, camera phones, etc.?
  • Supervisors’ responsibilities. Should supervisors challenge unescorted strangers who aren’t wearing the proper identification? Should they direct or escort unauthorized visitors to the front office or out of the building? Should they contact Security or escort someone in Human Resources or another department to assist in escorting the person off the premises?
  • Discipline. What discipline is imposed for employees who violate the policy or observe violations but do not report them?

All visitors must follow the site rules which may contain the following:

  • Report to the site office and ‘sign in’;
  • Delivery drivers must adhere to the site speed limit which is displayed;
  • Obey all other traffic signs/signals or instructions;
  • Give way to mobile plant, e.g. dumpers, loading shovels, etc.;
  • Give way to pedestrians;
  • Never reverse unless you have clear all round vision, are under the instruction of a banksman or have checked behind your vehicle before commencing to reverse;
  • Keep to designated traffic routes and haul roads unless instructed otherwise;
  • Do not drive with your vehicle body in a raised position;
  • Do not leave your cab unless it is absolutely necessary;
  • Wear the correct personal protective equipment;
  • Do not enter or interfere with any plant or machinery; and
  • Report any accident or incident immediately

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