The cyclone season has arrived in regions of Western Australia, with mining companies urged to review their contingency plans for the term.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Australian tropical cyclone outlook, the cyclone season runs from November to April.
An average of five tropical cyclones occur in the north western sub-region and an average of seven cyclones in the western region.
Cyclones can isolate workers by cutting off access to emergency services, roads, transport, power, infrastructure and communications, according to the Western Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).
DMIRS director for mines safety Andrew Chaplyn said cyclonic weather conditions increased hazards to workers and may devastate mining operations.
“It is critical for mining and petroleum operators to prepare response plans for the foreseeable risks of cyclones,” Chaplyn said.
“It is equally important to coordinate the plans for sites with multiple employers by appropriately training all workers, so that each person knows exactly what actions to take in the event of a cyclone.”
DMIRS advised mining operations to consider developing emergency procedures and plans with the advice of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) and local regional emergency planning groups.
They should also detail site-safe actions to be undertaken at different levels of cyclone warning phases, secure all transportable buildings on-site and plan for a safe evacuation of personnel prior to worsening conditions.