Revised: 1April 2014 (WZTM updated)
All members of the Delta team are responsible for safety, and shall work towards identifying any risk areas. All team members shall be informed of safety matters via the provision of safety notes in areas such as the laboratories, and by the inclusion of safety aspects into work instructions. Off-site training in first aid, remote area survival skills and any other relevant topics shall be provided wherever possible. The result of any such training shall be recorded in the training matrix.
All casual workers shall work through the induction form on their first day working with Delta Environmental Consulting, and again once a year, thereafter.
Footwear: On mines, factories or construction sites a pair of steel capped safety boots is mandatory. When conducting bush surveys a pair of high sided hiking boots that will support the ankles in rough terrain and protect from snakebite is recommended. Simple enclosed shoes or boots may suffice for more developed sites and mandatory in the laboratory. For meetings, navy blue or black low to medium heeled shoes should be worn. Appropriate footwear available for specialist operations includes waders for use when macroinvertebrate sampling, gum boots for wet sites, and wet suit bootees or plastic reef walkers for intertidal work.
Trousers/shorts: Navy trousers, or dark blue narrow legged jeans are tough, protect the legs from the sun, scratches and snake bite, and fit closely enough to reduce the risk of material catching in machinery. Trousers (rather than skirts or shorts) may be mandatory on some work sites (mines, construction sites). Shorts may be worn in hot conditions, and should be the longer "cargo" type with useful pockets, made from heavy cotton material. Sunscreen is mandatory on exposed areas of skin.
Skirts: If skirts are worn (they may be cooler in hot conditions) they should be navy blue or denim, below-knee to lower-calf length to provide maximum sun protection while remaining clear of the ground and low-growing plants.
Shirts: Navy short sleeved polo shirts with collars are suitable as long as sunscreen is used on the exposed parts of the arm. In winter navy long sleeved tees, knit tops or polos are suitable.
Jackets and jumpers: Fieldwork jumpers are navy blue East German submariners' jerseys. Fleece vests (navy) are also suitable for general, field and laboratory work. Dress jumpers are vee-necked fine gauge corporate knit navy pullovers. These are suitable for meetings as well as for general work. Alternatively, navy suit jackets may be worn for formal meetings.
Specialist clothing: Rain coats are available for inclement weather, as are overalls for dirty work. Lab coats are mandatory in the laboratory and are available hanging on the hooks by the laboratory door. Headwear is covered in the section on PPE (personal protective equipment).
Sunscreen is required on exposed areas when working outside.
Changed work practices
Safety notes are attached to specific work instructions and to the Field Sampling Plans for specific projects. Most fall into two classes: chemical awareness and remote area safety. Remote work is work conducted away from the St Kilda site. Check for safety notes in the work instruction or sampling plan, prior to starting work.
Remote area safety: Monitoring programs and sampling plans contain contact and safety details for specific sites. They are written prior to engaging in fieldwork. The plan should address all safety issues identified as likely to occur for that project. The plan should include details of any required check-ins and emergency contacts.
Ensure you are familiar with the site requirements as outlined in any monitoring program or sampling plan you are following. Where no monitoring program or sampling plan exists, follow the advice provided in the field advice instruction. Make sure you carry the appropriate field equipment. Remember that the advice and equipment lists are not comprehensive, they are indicative. Analyse your project to ensure you have considered all safety aspects.
The main safety issue in remote areas is accessing help. Ensure you have adequate communication facilities and/or are carrying an emergency GPS messenger if working remotely. Notify the senior consultant of your destination and estimated arrival time. Working with other people reduces risk considerably, however this is not always possible. While in some remote conditions in the day time it may be necessary to work alone, you may not work alone at night in remote conditions.
When carrying an emergency GPS messenger, turn it on so that it can send your track, as well as your check-in messages, to your contacts. Prior to going out into the field, log onto www.findmeSPOT.com and check to see that the phone contacts for check-ins etc are appropriate - if you are working with another organisation, their local safety officer should be included in the list of contacts. The emergency contacts should be provided with a link to Delta's shared SPOT tracking page.
Work in hazardous circumstances: When working alongside a road, railway, aircraft landing strip, proof or firing range, aerial installation or other hazardous facility, additional precautions are required. These are detailed in the field advice instruction and in the Field Guide: Traffic Control Devices for Workzone Traffic Management, version 7 2001. This later manual is filed in the Delta library at 614 GOV. When working alongside a road at least one person in the team must be have obatinedc their Workzone Traffic Management qualification. This person is responsible for selecting and implementing the appropriate WZTM plan from the field guide. The most commonly used plans for our work are described here: Workzone Traffic Management Plans
Chemical safety: No-one may work in the laboratory until they are familiar with the chemical hygiene plan, which must be adhered to. Additional training in laboratory safety is available online and from the library in the laboratory. The laboratory computer's Internet Explorer Favorites contains a range of training sites.
Personal hygiene: In all aspects of work, in the office, field or laboratory, regular cleaning of your hands will reduce the transfer of bacteria or contaminants to your mouth or food. Wash hands throughly after visiting the toilet, before eating and between tasks. In the field, use of waterless hand sanitiser is advised. Familiarise yourself with the information sheet on minimising the spread of Hepatitis A.
Weather exposure: Exposure to the weather can be dangerous if you are not properly prepared. Heat stress and sunburn are the two commonest weather dangers in Australia, although exposure to cold is a possibility in desert areas (night time), mountainous regions or in winter in the southern states. Abide by the dress code and make sure you are wearing appropriate clothes and have spare clothing items, use all appropriate PPE, use sunscreen and ensure you carry water. Consider whether some activities should be conducted at dawn or dusk, with a long break over the heat of the day. Sports Medicine Australia has prepared a leaflet (Beat the Heat) for people conducting outdoor activities in extreme weather conditions.
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
The following personal protective equipment is available: hard hats, wide brimmed sun hats, hi-vis caps (with removable legionaire flap) earplugs, safety glasses, safety sunglasses, disposable gloves, heavy gardening gloves, non-slip glassware gloves, heat gloves, disposable overalls, disposable shoe covers, dust masks, high visibility safety vests, fly nets, bee veils and wet weather gear. First aid kits are available in the laboratory, office and in all of the vehicles. Sunscreen, alcohol hand cleaners and insect repellent are available from the supply in the laboratory. The field vehicle contains flashing magnetic lights and safety bollards, an EPIRB and a battery powered strobe "flare". A SPOT satellite tracker is available for remote area work. Extra bollards and "men working" signage are stored in the laboratory.
Portable appliance testing
Portable electric equipment shall be examined for obvious faults annually by an appropriate person. Items with frayed or loose cords shall be repaired.
Staff members who are caring for family members at work are provided with assistance in the form of a 'care room' and the provision of a child restraint seat in the fieldwork vehicle. Staff are always responsible for the care of their own children, even though other staff members may be assisting them with that care. In South Australia, people caring for children who are not members of their family must have a police clearance.
Staff who feel unwell may also use the care room to rest, or while waiting to be collected from work if they are too unwell to go home alone.
Use of facilities
Delta's facilities are located in a country township that is not sewered. Sewage is treated on-site in a septic tank, while greywater is recycled to water the entrance gardens. Details of the appropriate work practices to ensure continued efficient operation of these systems is provided in the facilities maintenance instruction.
Unusual incident reporting
In the case of accidents or 'near-misses' an unusual incident report shall be filled out. The reports are incorporated as a special folder in Outlook on the main computer. The reports shall detail the date and time of the incident, describe what happened and the outcome, and shall specify what actions have been taken to prevent recurrence.
Every two years an internal OHSW audit shall be conducted using the form provided as guidance.