Safety information

Familiarise yourself with the health and safety guidelines for the Old Government Buildings—home of the Faculty of Law.

Emergency contacts

  • Campus Assistance ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999
  • Emergency services 1-111

Preparing for an emergency

You are expected to be self-sufficient for 3 or more days if you are unable to leave the university in the event of an emergency. Emergency supplies should include the following:

  • Essential personal medication
  • Food – non-perishable, high energy, ie canned food, muesli bars
  • Warm clothing/wet weather gear
  • Good walking shoes
  • Water – at least 3 litres per person per day
  • Torch and batteries
  • Contact details for family
  • Backpack

Find out how to prepare further:

Emergency incidents

One or more of the following events may be as a result of, or driven by another event. For example, an earthquake may cause electricity failure which in turn may cause people to become trapped in a lift.
Do not assume that others have reported such events or that they are related. Follow the instructions described below.

During an earthquake

dropcoverhold
  • Act quickly—DROP to the ground, get under COVER and HOLD until the shaking stops
  • If there is no cover, crouch on your knees on the floor away from windows, put your arms over your head and neck to protect them

After an earthquake

  • Stay inside, gather everyone in one place until it is safe to exit
  • If you are in a multi-storey building, check the stairs before making your way to lower floors, do not use lifts
  • If you are in the stairwells, use emergency door release buttons to exit
  • If your building is unsafe, evacuate. Take your belongings, beware of falling debris and make your way to a large open space

The assembly area is:

Pipitea Campus – Parliament Grounds

At other campuses, the assembly areas are:

Kelburn Campus – Kelburn Park; Te Aro Campus – Cobblestone Park; Karori Campus – Playing Fields (next to Campbell Street)

If you are in a teaching space:

The lecturer or tutor is responsible for evacuating a teaching space. They should be familiar with the evacuation procedures for the areas in which they teach and are advised to tell students/attendees of the evacuation procedures at the beginning of the lecture/meeting. Fire alarms are a well understood signal for evacuating a space but in an earthquake, and in other emergencies, alarms will not necessarily sound. If the alarm is not sounding, you, and/or your lecturer/tutor, may have to make a judgment call about the need to evacuate. Be guided by whether the area looks and feels unsafe to be in.

Safety and Risk Team

If you have any concerns, please contact the Safety and Risk team on safety@vuw.ac.nz.

Tips about Old Govt Buildings (OGB)

  • In the event of a quake, DO NOT shelter under ornate plaster work (arches and corbels) but if you're near a vault, get to its doorway if you can
  • Lock your filing cabinets to avoid drawers sliding open.
  • Get museum wax for precious ornaments (should be available from Mitre 10).

Fire evacuation procedures

IF YOU DISCOVER A FIRE

  • Operate the nearest red fire alarm box by breaking the glass and pressing the switch down
  • Dial Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999 and advise Campus Security. Speak clearly and stay calm.
  • Dial 1-111 and advise the Fire Service
  • Turn off machinery or processes IF SAFE TO DO SO
  • Use firefighting equipment only if you are confident and IF SAFE TO DO SO; do not put yourself at risk
  • If the fire is uncontrollable contain the fire by closing doors, and EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY

ON CONTINUOUS SOUNDING OF THE FIRE ALARM

  • Do not linger, leave the building as quickly as possible
  • Do not return to your office – leave by the nearest EXIT
  • Do not run – keep calm
  • Do not use lifts – keep left on stairs
  • Assemble outside the perimeter of the grounds
  • Do not return to the building until the ‘all clear’ is given by the Fire Service or your Building Warden

Tsunami

Know where the nearest high ground is and how you will reach it.
Plan to get as high up or as far inland as you can if you are near the sea and:

  • feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up, or a weak rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
  • see a sudden rise or fall in sea level
  • hear loud and unusual noises from the sea
  • Move immediately to the nearest high ground or as far inland as you can. If evacuation maps are present, follow the routes shown.

Flooding, storm/severe weather event

  • Ensure all windows and doors are closed
  • If you have to move outdoors be aware of flying debris
  • During heavy rain be mindful of surface flooding caused by overloaded storm water systems or blocked drains
  • Switch off any electrical equipment that could be affected by floodwaters, and move any valuable documents or equipment to a safe area
  • Report any damage or flooding to Campus Security on Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999

Medical emergency

  • Call for the assistance of a First Aider
  • If on Kelburn Campus during work hours, dial Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999 and advise Campus Security who will dispatch Rescue Medics to provide emergency assistance until an ambulance arrives
  • If not on Kelburn Campus, or after hours, dial 1-111 and advise the Ambulance Service before notifying Campus Security on Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999
  • Apply First Aid if you are confident and if the scene is safe
  • Remember the ABC’s of First Aid – Airway, Breathing, Circulation
  • Automatic External Defibrillators for heart attack victims are available at all Campus Reception areas; dial Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999 to have one sent immediately to the patient

Landslide

  • Landslides are caused by heavy rain, floods or earthquake shaking
  • Check for signs of ground movement, such as cracks or bulges on the ground, leaning trees and walls or gaps where frames no longer fit properly
  • Call Campus Security on Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999 and evacuate the premises if asked to
  • Warn neighbours who might also be affected
  • Do not return until the ‘all clear’ has been given (this may only be after a detailed engineering assessment has been completed)

Hazardous substance alert

  • Do not touch the suspect material
  • Remove everyone from affected area if safe to do so
  • Isolate and contain the hazardous material by closing doors, and turn off isolation switches, ventilation and machinery if safe to do so
  • DO NOT activate building alarms or other electronic equipment
  • Call Campus Security on Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999 giving location and substance details (if known)
  • If available, provide Material Safety Data Sheets to emergency services on arrival
  • Do not return to the building until the ‘all clear’ has been given

Suspicious package/bomb threat

  • Do not touch suspicious parcels/packages
  • Remove everyone from the immediate area
  • DO NOT activate building alarms or use electronic equipment such as cell phones
  • From a safe distance call Campus Security on Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999 giving exact location and description of suspect package
  • Where a bomb threat is received via telephone, record as much detail as possible to pass on to authorities, then carry out procedures as above
  • Follow instructions from Campus Security who will take control of the scene in conjunction with the New Zealand Police
  • Do not return to the building until the ‘all clear’ has been given

Violence/aggressive behaviour

  • Remove yourself and others from immediate danger where possible
  • If a hostage situation ensues follow all instructions from the captor, speak only when spoken to and sit down (if possible) to avoid appearing aggressive
  • If offender has left the scene note direction of travel or vehicle used
  • From a safe location call Campus Security on Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999 giving as much detail as possible about the offender
  • If safe to do so remain with victim(s) to provide First Aid and/or comfort and support
  • If the violence results in a fatality, leave the deceased in situ and preserve the crime scene for later police forensic examination
  • Follow instructions from Campus Security who will take control of the scene in conjunction with the NZ Police
  • Do not return to the scene or building until the ‘all clear’ has been given

Suspicious persons/criminal activity

  • Ensure personal safety
  • From a safe location call Campus Security on Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999 giving as much detail as possible (description, location, direction of travel of offenders)
  • Alert other staff to assist as appropriate
  • Isolate and preserve a crime scene for later forensic examination
  • Do not engage in conversation with unauthorised visitors or media
  • In protest or unrest situations withdraw to a place of safety
  • Follow instructions from Campus Security who will take control of the scene in conjunction with the NZ Police
  • Do not return to the scene or building until the ‘All Clear’ has been given

Active shooter

  • Where possible remove yourself and others from the vicinity of the offender
  • Find a place of safety, in an out-of-sight hiding place or behind a lockable door
  • If confronted, do exactly as instructed, be submissive, avoid eye contact
  • Use opportunities to escape if presented
  • From a safe location call Campus Security on Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999 giving as much detail as possible (description, location, direction of travel of the offender)
  • Alert other staff and students when able to do so
  • IF SAFE TO DO SO, provide First Aid to victims
  • Follow instructions from Campus Security who will take control of the scene in conjunction with the NZ Police
  • Do not return to the scene or building until the ‘all clear’ has been given

Electricity failure

  • Report the outage to the FM Service Desk on Ext 6600 or (04) 463 6600 or after hours to Campus Security on Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999
  • Campus-wide telephone communications will continue to operate during a power outage
  • If evacuation is necessary, battery powered illuminated EXIT signs and emergency lighting will indicate exit paths
  • People stranded in lifts will be able to communicate with Campus Security or the Lift Company directly using the lift emergency button/phone
  • Ensure someone remains with anyone who is disabled and cannot leave the building; call Campus Security on Ext 8888 (0800 VIC 8888) or (04) 463 9999 for assistance
  • In labs, specific procedures will operate during a power outage - ensure you are aware of these requirements
  • Keep all refrigerators and freezers closed
  • Building access control systems will continue to operate for a limited time, after which doors will automatically revert to free access - a manual lockdown will then be initiated by Campus Security
  • IMPORTANT – always treat all electrical equipment as live, as power may be restored at any time without notice

Current OGB status, post 2013 earthquakes

Safety

  • The building has been assessed as structurally sound and safe for occupation
  • This will be reassessed in the event of an earthquake greater than 5.5

Damage

  • OGB is a wooden structure with lath and plaster interior walls
  • In an earthquake, wood flexes, plaster doesn’t, resulting in cracks – which also appear around areas of rigidity such as cast iron pillars and chimneys

What’s been done?

  • Every crack has been checked for loose plaster
  • Where loose plaster was present, it has been removed
  • Every room has been checked and anything unsafe has been removed
  • As OGB is a heritage building, traditional techniques need to be used

Your concerns

If you have concerns about any aspects of safety in the bulding, please report to the Faculty/School Office.

Links to resources:

http://www.victoria.ac.nz/st_services/counselling/resources/support-for-staff-and-students-affected-by-traumatic-events.pdf

http://www.victoria.ac.nz/healthandsafety/health-wellbeing/services-staff/staff-support-team

http://www.msd.govt.nz/emergency/factsheets.html

http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/emergency-management/managing-stress-emergency

Download and print a copy of the Emergency Instructions Poster