The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety reminded mining and petroleum companies operating throughout Western Australia to ensure contingency plans are established and can be activated when necessary as the cyclone season starts this month.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s Australian Tropical Cyclone Outlook for 2017 to 2018 found that the Northwestern sub-region has a 56 percent chance of more tropical cyclones than average and a 44 percent chance of fewer tropical cyclones than average.
“It is critical that mining and petroleum operators have adequate plans and provide appropriate training to protect workers from hazards at the workplace, including natural hazards such as cyclones,” said Simon Ridge, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety’s Executive Director Resources Safety.
A safety alert developed by the department gives the following advice for workplaces in cyclone-sensitive regions.
- Employers should develop emergency procedures and plans with advice from DFES and other regional emergency planning groups where their work sites and camps are located.
- The emergency plans should include details for making the site safe and ensuring the safety of personnel as far as is practicable.
- Every accommodation unit or donga and every transportable building on work sites in cyclone sensitive regions should be adequately secured
- During the Blue and Yellow Alert Cyclone Warning phase, a safe and orderly evacuation of non-essential personnel from the work site or camp should be considered before high-intensity cyclone pass by
- To prevent injuries during transfer, any personnel remaining on site during the cyclone should be moved to a designated appropriate shelter well in advance of the arrival of the cyclone
- Where personnel are required to stay on site, adequate stocks of food and other essential items should be available during the period when the site may be cut off due to high winds or flooding
- During the Red Alert Cyclone Warning phase, when all power has to be isolated or in the eventuality of damage or interruption occurring to the power supply or telephone and internet connections, an adequate means of reliable emergency backup communication should be available on site to make contact with external emergency services should help or assistance be required
- Each site should continuously monitor cyclone warnings issued on radio, television, or the Bureau of Meteorology or DFES websites. Battery-powered radios should be available in the event of power interruptions on site.