Keeping Workers Safe in Bushfire or Flood Affected Areas

As bushfires and floods continue to threaten worker safety in Australia, the need for safety precautions remains a top priority. Bushfires and floods present a multitude of threats to workers, including smoke inhalation, reduced visibility and damaged or impassable roads. People in different lines of work are likely to face a variety of different safety hazards; whoever is threatened needs to know that the necessary safety procedures are in place.

Weather Challenges

Severe weather conditions are notorious for complicating operational processes. This remains true of protecting a remote workforce. Improved technology has made reception more reliable, but the grave conditions of bushfires and floods can make it extremely difficult to remain in contact with workers.

Driving Risks

Driving is almost always a necessity for those working in areas that may be affected by bushfires or floods – it is also one of the most dangerous activities. Drivers should be capable, careful and in regular contact with managers. Unfortunately, the latter is not always possible, especially with severe and unpredictable weather conditions. The most complete journey management solutions will have alternative capabilities, like SMS, for the likely event that internet connectivity is unreliable.

Staying on Top of the Situation

Remaining vigilant and being prepared is essential for the protection of workers in times of an emergency. Using a journey management system in conjunction with emergency notifications can be an effective approach. Emergency + and other state and fire service sanctioned apps are instrumental for keeping abreast of dangerous situations.

Journey management solutions (JMS) provide information on users’ whereabouts and safety. The best journey management platforms are not entirely reliant on internet connectivity. Complete dependence on internet connectivity could make them ineffective if the weather interferes with those signals. An effective journey management platform needs a commitment from workers and managers to create a consistent approach to usage, planning and monitoring.

Planning is Vital

Planning routes and activities is vital, especially when work is to be undertaken in bushfire or flood affected areas. Planning activities or operations can maximise efficiency and minimise the time spent in at risk and potentially dangerous areas.

An integral component of the planning process is journey planning. Each remote worker should be on the same page about their destinations and routes. Organisations who have remote workers that are required to travel to affected locations need to consider JMS technology. JMS platforms have journey planning capabilities that can ease the entire planning process. If planned travel is expected to take place in unsafe locations, operations teams can quickly make contact and put safety procedures in place.

Continuous Monitoring

Monitoring the whereabouts of isolated employees is a key responsibility for managers. By having someone oversee their safe arrival at checkpoints or destinations, workers and their families are reassured that they have a team keeping a watchful eye on their status. In the event they fail to check-in, safety procedures can be quickly enacted, increasing the likelihood that a disastrous situation can be avoided. With the proper systems and technology available, workers can make contact if caught in a hazard, like fire or flood.

With bushfire and flood seasons growing in severity and length, the safety of remote workers is increasingly threatened. Organisations must take every precaution to minimise the casualties and incidents that occur from working in inhospitable environments – planning and journey management are essential.

Keep your workers safe through these dangerous times and places. For more information on how journey management systems can help protect your workers, speak to a team member at SafetyIQ.


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