Emergency plans and aftermath

The purpose of this Safety Alert is to remind Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking of their duties to workers and others in the lead up, during and following an emergency situation.


Cyclone Marcus passed over Darwin and rural areas on Saturday 17 March 2018 causing significant damage to essential services, mainly triggered by falling trees. Not all businesses initiated an emergency plan in a timely manner. Some non-essential workers were expected to work after the official warning to take shelter had been issued, and continued to work throughout the event. Other workers were required to return to work before the official all-clear had been given, and some were without basic worker amenities.

Some non-essential businesses were advertising they were open for business, even though Emergency Services were requesting members of the public to stay off the roads due to the continuing risk posed by fallen trees and powerlines.

Action required

  • Ensure your business has an emergency plan, which includes preparedness for cyclones.
  • Implement the emergency plan in a timely manner, and ensure your workers have plenty of time to return home safely.
  • Non-essential workers should not be required to return to work until NT Police, Fire & Emergency Services advise it is safe to do so. This advice will be published online at SecureNT and broadcast on ABC radio.
  • Workers must have a clear and safe passage to return to and from work.
  • Basic amenities must be available to workers at work. This includes the availability of toilet facilities and drinking water.
  • Once the official all-clear is given, conduct a risk assessment of the workplace before asking workers to return to work.  Things to consider could include electrical safety, structural integrity of damaged buildings, potential disturbance of asbestos and risk assess large trees and palms to ensure they do not pose a risk to workers and others.

Further information


Code of Practice

Safety alert

NT WorkSafe contact

Phone: 1800 019 115
Email: ntworksafe@nt.gov.au


This Safety Alert contains safety information following inquires made by NT WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of NT WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. NT WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up-to-date and does not accept any liability for the information in this report or as to its use.