9 Tips For Your Fieldwork Emergency Response Plan

When you snowmobile, quad, helicopter or hike away from camp for a day of fieldwork, do you know what measures your employer has in place to keep you safe in the case of a remote emergecy?  It’s time to take a look at your company’s fieldwork emergency response plan.

Get your hands on your fieldwork emergency response plan, and use this checklist to see that these key items are being addressed.

Remember, the quality of your company’s fieldwork emergency response plan will be judged against the industry standard (which you can influence and improve – check out our article “How Your Rescue Guidelines Shape The Industry Standard“.)  Quality plans will be built on relevant laws, regulations, standards and needs assessments as well.

Thanks to AME BC’s 5th Edition Safety Guidelines for producing this excellent resource, in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mines. The following tips are taken from Section 1 of the Guidelines. This list is just a snapshot from that section – consult the full version for a more complete list.

Raven Rescue Safety Medical remote worksite

1. Mine/Operation Information – includes the basic information that should be in he plan as it applies to a field-based operation:

  • Type of Operation
  • Location of Operation (UTM or Lat/Long)
  • Number of employees on site

2. Hazard Analysis of Operation – identify all the potential emergencies that could occur during the fieldwork:

  • Environmental
  • Human
  • Equipment failure

3. Emergency Equipment – a list of all emergency equipment available in the field to deal with identified potential emergencies and hazards:

  • First aid supplies
  • Rescue equipment
  • Emergency transport vehicle

4. Trained Personnel  A listing of on-site trained personnel who are available and capable of dealing with the identified potential emergencies and hazards:

  • Contact information of first aid personnel at Operation
  • Other trained personnel (SAR, provincial ambulance, local fire department)

5. Implementation of the Plan and Incident Command  this must clearly define how persons involved in an emergency are to access and implement the plan:

  • First steps, including who, how and when to call for help
  • Details of the communication systems to be used (i.e. two-way radio, cell phone, sat phone)
  • Inclusion of Emergency Notification and Mobilization chart

6. Directions to Site – particularly important in remote areas. Coordinates must be provided and helicopter landing areas should be identified or established:

  • Identify who has been given copies of directions in advance
  • Mark on the map possible transfer sites to Provincial Ambulance for long road transport of injured workers

7. Contact Lists – stand-alone page must be created with contact information for all agencies listed in addtion to company contacts, some of which include:

  • Operation manager
  • Corporate head office
  • First aid (phone, or radio channel)
  • Emergency personnel
  • Outside agencies
  • Transport companies

8. Training – provision for training all persons on site must be provided in the application of the plan

9. Records – Supplementary to the plan are all the records associated with it; therefore, the following records should be maintained on site:

  • Training
  • Equipment checks
  • Implementation
  • Incident debriefing