The Critical Incident Management Policy applies to all employees and contractors of Commit Works. The procedures set out in this document are governed by the Critical Incident Management Policy.
This document is effective from 06/03/17.
Identifying and Reporting a Critical Incident
If a Critical Incident occurs, employees should:
- Take any action within their capacity to evacuate any area affected by the risk and contact emergency services (if necessary); then
- Contact and advice the closest Manager
- Contact and advise CEO (in case of business continuity / reputation-related incidents); or
- Contact and advise CTO, (in case of information technology-related incident).
If the Critical Incident is also judged to pose a present or imminent risk to the personal safety, well-being or life of a person, emergency service/s such as the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, Queensland Police Service or Queensland Ambulance Service should be immediately contacted by telephoning 000. The Manager will give priority to notifying emergency services in the first instance of any Critical Incident, wherever appropriate.
In orally reporting the Critical Incident to an emergency service or Manager, the notifying party should seek to maintain the confidentiality of personal information related to all individual persons involved in or witnessing the incident.
In orally reporting the Critical Incident, the following should be advised:
- Time of the incident;
- Location of the incident;
- Nature of the incident (e.g. threat, accident, assault);
- Names and roles of persons involved, if known; and
- Any known contact details (e.g. of witnesses, next of kin, hospital a person has been taken to, the police station responding to the incident).
The Manager must notify the relevant Incident Lead based on the type of incident immediately after notification of a Critical Incident, unless an initial response, such as notifying emergency services, is necessary.
After assessing and/or implementing any further risk treatments as the initial response to a Critical Incident, the Incident Lead will as soon as practicable advise the CEO.
Coordination of a Critical Incident
The Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) will be formed in the event of a Critical Incident. The CIRG will have responsibility for management of the Critical Incident until normal operations have resumed (the recovery phase).
The CEO will assume the role of Critical Incident Lead and activate the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) that will include employees of the Commit Works who can provide their expertise and additional resources and support to the Incident Response Group in managing the critical incident.
The CIRG will oversee Critical Incident and recovery processes in conjunction with the Incident Lead of the Incident Response Group.
Initial Commit Works Response to a Critical Incident
After being notified of the Critical Incident, initiating any initial response action, the Critical Incident Lead will immediately arrange the Critical Incident Response Group.
The Critical Incident Lead will also ensure that:
- Emergency Services have been contacted (if appropriate) as soon as it is safe to do so;
- Injured and/or traumatised employees are provided with an appropriate emergency response;
- The relevant executives have been informed of the Critical Incident;
- The CTO has been informed of an IT-related Critical Incident; and
- The CIRG has arranged support for employees in the event of an incident is continuing.
Critical Incident Response Group Action Plans
These plans will be preferably simple, plain English statements that direct the group response to a Critical Incident.
Some examples of items that should appear in CIRG’s simple plans follow:
- how to deal with a threat to human life;
- how to prevent/minimise personal injury in a natural disaster;
- how to protect the environment in a disaster;
- how to prevent/minimise damage to physical assets, including structures, animals, research data, and library collections;
- how to procure resources if necessary, requiring large expenditures;
- how to continue to ensure employees receive salary and wages during a disaster;
- insurer notification;
- list of places for potential Command Centres and Fall Back Sites; and
- necessary emergency contacts (including non-Commit Works contacts).
- access to an up to date Disaster Recovery Plan;
- procedures to respond to a telecommunications failure;
- how to access recovery sites;
- list of places for potential Command Centres and Fall Back Sites and
- necessary emergency contacts (including non-Commit Works contacts).
Assessment and Response of a Critical Incident
The CIRG will gather and verify information on a Critical Incident, and record that information.
The CIRG will then make an assessment of the mitigating strategies to urgently address the Critical Incident.
The CIRG should identify:
- what immediate action should be taken to reduce the significance of the Critical Incident;
- the current needs of the people involved or affected;
- what resources may be required to address the incident;
- any other risk factors;
- agencies that need to be notified;
- in the case of a human incident: if any referrals requires, additional services required or next of kin to be advised; and/or
- other Commit Works employees that need to be contacted.
The CIRG will develop a response plan.
Possible CIRG responses and considerations include:
- organisation of a task timetable for the responses and delegation or responsibilities;
- initiation of psychological care, including personal contact with victims and other persons affected by the incident;
- contact with next of kin/significant others;
- most appropriate arrangements for informing managers and employees, including guidelines to managers about what information to give employees;
- briefing relevant contacts employees and delegating an employee to deal with telephone/face-to-face inquiries;
- identification of employees most closely involved and therefore most at risk, e.g. those involved can include personal friends/family, others who have experienced a similar past trauma and other employees;
- provision of a quiet area for the use of victims and/or their families (area should be protected from intrusion by anyone not immediately affected in the incident);
- arranging a time and place for an initial group/individual debriefing session with relevant Executives (Counselling can provide an opportunity to share the impact of the event, discuss various interpretations of the event, including in relation to cultural impact and sensitivities, the resultant reactions and the normalisation of reactions); and/or
- plan for ongoing feedback and regular meetings so that the CIRG members are continually informed and working together.
Monitoring the Response to a Critical Incident
The Critical Incident Response Group will monitor responses and liaise with appropriate areas to:
- ensure access to factual information for all those affected by the incident;
- assess the need for any additional counselling;
- assess the need for any additional support from outside agencies or services; and
- assess the need for, and organise debriefing sessions for, all those involved in the incident, including, if appropriate, the wider Commit Works community.
Various types of debriefing sessions may be held, depending on circumstances and the need, including:
- technical debriefing (e.g. data security-related issues);
- critical incident stress debriefing and/or initial defusing, conducted by professional counsellors trained in Critical Incident Stress debriefing, for those affected by the incident; and/or
- Critical Incident Response Group debriefing.
Completion of Critical Incident Reporting Documentation
When CIRG considers that the Commit Works has finalised its response to a Critical Incident, and is in rec the very stage, the Critical Incident Lead will immediately:
- complete the Critical Incident Fact Sheet and ensure that it contains details of the actions taken to return the Critical Incident to the recovery stage;
- prepare a summary of the Critical Incident which includes detailed explanations of any opportunities to improve the Commit Works’ response to a similar incident in future and any systems that may have failed in response to the Critical Incident;
- place the originals of all documentation relating to the Critical Incident in the relevant confidential file and this file shall be recorded on the Commit Works’ official recordkeeping system;
Recordkeeping and Management
The CIRG will establish a confidential file on each Critical Incident and ensure that the file contains all incident reporting and facts documentation, including details of the responses taken, copies of related emails and letters, records of significant interactions, and contact details for all people involved in the response process.
Critical Incident files will be made, kept and managed in accordance with the Commit Works' approved records management system.
Evaluation of Response
As soon as possible after a Critical Incident, the CIRG will meet to review the implementation of procedures and the effectiveness of the responses.
In light of the review, CIRG will initiate any changes to procedures or protocols in order to improve the Commit Works’ Critical Incident management.
A copy of the review findings will be placed on the file for the relevant Critical Incident.