Is it safe to return to the service?
Ensure that all hazards have been cleared, basic needs are available and the site is declared safe by emergency services if applicable. Before commencing clean-up efforts, survey the damage and assess if there is an increased risk of injury to staff when performing duties not normally part of their daily routine (e.g. lifting during cleaning of debris).
Wear protective shoes and clothing (and face masks where needed), have a first aid kit handy and use mechanical assistance (e.g. trolleys) where possible and seek help. Ensure no one uses equipment they are not trained and competent to use.
For helpful tips on returning to a disaster affected building, visit
Are the premises, furniture and equipment safe, clean and in good repair?
Make a detailed assessment of whether the premises, appliances, furniture and equipment are safe, clean and in good repair. Is there any mould, water damage, exposed glass, sewerage, ashes/dust, chemical leakage, asbestos, or other hazard?
Are there any electrical or plumbing issues that may require tradespeople?
Ensure gas, electricity, water and sewerage have been checked by the relevant authority prior to using the facility. Do not use gas or electrical appliances which have been in flood water until checked by an authorised, competent person. Ensure telecommunications are connected and in working order.
Are the outdoor areas safe?
Check if outdoor areas are contaminated or damaged. Are they accessible? Is the fencing compromised or unstable? Check sandpits, shade sails and play equipment. If outdoor areas have taken on floodwater, you must
allow grounds to dry out prior to use to prevent floodwater contamination.
Your service should refer to its policies, procedures, checklists and/or other documentation to support a risk assessment of the premises, furniture and equipment.
For further information on what may need to be assessed, refer to the
Guide to the National Quality Framework (NQF) Section 4: Operational Requirements, in particular, Quality Areas 2 and 3.