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Lack of co-ordinated search plan: Unstable or collapsed structure

Hazard Knowledge

In the event of an unstable or collapsed structure, there may be people trapped on or in the structure. Initial responding personnel may need to consider extricating casualties who are on the surface of the debris pile, or those trapped by construction materials, before specialist resources arrive. However, personnel will need to consider what actions they can take and how their actions may affect the stability of the structure and casualties.

For further information about the hazards associated with this type of incident, refer to Height, structures and confined spaces – Unstable or collapsed structures.

A lack of a co-ordinated search plan can present hazards for personnel and casualties, including:

  • Personnel being deployed in unsafe areas
  • Personnel going to areas where other operational activity is taking place
  • Insufficient implementation of control measures to allow for safe working
  • Uncontrolled rescue attempts impacting on structural stability, casualties or other emergency responders