By Guy LeNoir 20th October 2016

With the cyclone season fast approaching (officially November 1) the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a concern regarding potentially a higher than normal frequency of cyclones this season.

You may be wondering why we are raising this issue. Well it has come to our attention through our auditing work, that it does not appear that everyone working in these cyclone prone areas take these natural hazards as seriously as they should.

The bureauís outlook on the coming season indicated that the North-western sub-region which includes the Pilbara and Kimberley had a higher percentage rate of having more tropical cyclones than average this season.

Lessons learnt from past cyclone events at workplaces should be reviewed and applied to current workplace situations. These warnings do not just apply to mining operations but any workplaces in these areas, whether they are permanent or temporary.

Those areas that may not fall within the cyclone regions, should also take heed of these warnings as they may be exposed to different natural hazards such as flash flooding etc.

A joint alert has been developed by DMP and WorkSafe offering some advice for workplaces in cyclone sensitive regions including (but not limited to):

  • Employers should develop emergency procedures and plans in conjunction with advice from DFES and other regional emergency planning groups where their work sites and camps are located.
  • Every accommodation unit or donga and every transportable building on work sites in cyclone sensitive regions should be adequately secured.
  • The emergency plans should include details for making the site safe and ensuring the safety of personnel as far as is practicable. The plans must be communicated to all personnel likely to be onsite during the cyclone season.

For further details regarding this Joint Safety Alert click on this link Is your site ready for the cyclone season?

In saying this, worksites are important, but so are the families etc that live in these areas. Donít forget to also ensure you have a home cyclone management plan.

If you would like assistance in any way (review, development and / or assistance with implementation) with your Workplace Emergency / Cyclone Preparedness Plan, please do not hesitate to contact us.