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Safety Check In Directive

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Safety Check In DirectiveIn,in,Check,check

    Safety Check In Directive

    (Directive sur les Appels de Sécurité)

    September 19, 2006

    Together, we make our workplaces and activities healthy and safe.

    Office of Prime Interest:

    Corporate Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness

Safety Check In Directive

Table of contents

    INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................... 3 PURPOSE ............................................................................................................. 3 APPLICATION ...................................................................................................... 3 DEFINITIONS ........................................................................................................ 4 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES ...................................................................... 5 Supervisors’ Responsibilities ............................................................................................ 5 Employees’ responsibilities ............................................................................................... 5 FIELD WORKER MONITORING .......................................................................... 6 1. Itinerary ............................................................................................................................ 6 2. Communication / Location ............................................................................................. 6 3. Overdue Employee .......................................................................................................... 6

    a) Basic Requirements for Monitoring ................................................................................ 6

    b) Use of Providers ............................................................................................................ 7 REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION ....................................................................... 7 Reference ............................................................................................................................. 7 An outline of the Safety Check In Directive (Diagram) ........................................................ 8 Traveler’s procedures and responsibilities for pre-field, in-field and post-field

    operations. .............................................................................................................................. 9 On-Call Person’s Procedures and Responsibilities........................................................... 10 Appendix I - Call in Itinerary ................................................................................................ 12 Detailed Itinerary Itinéraire détaillé .................................................................................. 13 Critical Incident Response Guide: Step by Step ................................................................ 14

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Safety Check In Directive

    Introduction

    Employees doing field work may occasionally be alone, remote and / or distanced from assistance. This creates two challenges: difficulty or loss of communication with the employee and delays if waiting for rescue. Thus, EC shall develop a SWP / THA and provide tools / training for communication / location of employees. This will occur through check ins to the on-call person or provider to ensure they are safe for the duration of their work day. This shall proceed in conjunction with EC Working Alone Policy. It will provide for suitable contingency procedures to search for and assist workers who are injured, overdue, and / or unable to check in. Risks assessed by the supervisor should consider: weather, terrain, marine conditions, wildlife, vehicle/craft type, phone / radio battery power, opportunity to recharge, strength / existence of signal, and type of work being performed. Purpose

    The Safety Check In Directive outlines the recommended steps that teams should take in order to ensure that employees can rapidly communicate their need for help when required and primarily to ensure that search and rescue measures and emergency medical services will be employed and will be effective in locating employees who are "overdue". This refers to employees who should have arrived back at their hotel, home, or base camp at the end of their work day or by a prescribed time but were not able to be accounted for.

    Application

    This directive applies to all departmental employees working in the field alone, in a remote site, or situated where it is difficult to have adequate emergency response due to weather or available transportation. While the directive is primarily intended for employees working in the field or while alone, a supervisor may choose to implement the requirements of the directive to be used for other regular business travel at their discretion. Generally, the directive is meant to be employed when the person travels outside of their headquarters area and travels through or performs work in areas where they are unlikely to be provided responsive assistance.

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Safety Check In Directive

    Definitions

    Remote Site: A remote area or site or an isolated work place means a work place that is more than two hours travel time from a hospital or other medical facility under normal traveling conditions using the fastest available means of transportation. Note: In field situations where there is a possibility that local weather conditions or available means of transportation may hinder or delay the arrival of medical assistance or the evacuation of casualties, the field officer or project leader may consider such field sites to be remote.

    Working Alone: Both of the following conditions must be met;

    ; To work alone at a work site, and

    ; Working in circumstances where assistance is not readily available in the event of an injury,

    illness or emergency.

    Note: In order to define "readily available" the following assessment factors must be evaluated: a) Awareness - will other persons capable of providing assistance be aware of the worker's needs? b) Willingness - is it reasonable to expect those other persons will provide helpful assistance? c) Timeliness - will assistance be provided within a reasonable period of time?

    Check In: Refers to calls by the employee to the supervisor, on-call person, or provider to convey they are safe and on schedule as per itinerary.

    Itinerary: Is a detailed schedule of field work including the time of check in(s) and includes work locations.

    On-Call: Is an EC employee who is tasked to monitor incoming calls of distress after hours.

    Provider: Is a contracted system / process to monitor employee check ins and calls the EC supervisor for missed check ins.

Overdue: Is when a field worker‟s status or location is not known at a prescribed point in time.

GPS: Global Positioning System

    Panic Button: Is a function offered by providers to indicate that there is an emergency. EPIRB: Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon,

    PLB: Personal Locator Beacon.

    GPIRB: GPS w/ Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon

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Safety Check In Directive

    Roles and Responsibilities

    Supervisors’ Responsibilities

    a) Determine whether Check Ins are necessary, depending on the type of work being performed

    and considering the assessed risks.

    b) Ensure that employees are aware of the risks to which they will be exposed during their

    assignment.

    c) Ensure that employees follow the SWP and regularly review the THA.

    d) Ensure that employees have access to emergency communication / location equipment and an

    up-to-date list of names, addresses and telephone numbers for local emergency services, such

    as emergency transportation (ambulance, taxi), health services, the fire department, the police

    and the poison control centre.

    e) Determine the measures to ensure that workers will return safely from their assignment.

    f) Define the emergency procedures to follow in case of emergencies or if employees fail to call

    in (overdue).

    g) Ensure that the itinerary has been filed and appropriate safety equipment is on board the

    vehicle / craft.

    h) Keep up to date a confidential list of employees personal emergency contact person(s) and

    phone number(s).

Employees’ responsibilities

    a) Participate in the necessary training to perform field work safely.

    b) To comply with the requirements of this directive.

    c) Wear / use approved personal protective clothing / equipment.

    d) Inform management without delay of any safety or health issue related to the work in the field.

    e) Provide supervisor with prioritized emergency contact person(s) name and phone number(s).

    f) Use the appropriate communication / locating device(s) such as land line phone, fax, cellular

    phone, satellite phone, walkie-talkie, panic button, GPS, EPIRB, GPIRB, & / or PLB.

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Safety Check In Directive

    Field Worker Monitoring

    Field worker monitoring has three components:

    1) Itinerary

    2) Communication / Location, and

    3) Overdue employee

    1. Itinerary

    An itinerary must be made available to the supervisor within the department at all times. This would mean an employee would file a written plan of where they are to be on specific days with prioritized phone numbers (i.e.. cell phones, hotel numbers, etc.) so that the department is able to contact the employee if they are deemed to be "overdue". Also included in the itinerary would be the duration of the stay at each location and an expected time of arrival back to their originating office (home base). An example of an itinerary has been designed and is included for your use in Appendix I.

    2. Communication / Location

    It is essential that all field staff have access to reliable communications equipment in the event of an emergency. The equipment is also required to allow employees to check in their position or status to a provider or to the designated on-call person. Thus the department is able to make contact with the employee if they are deemed "overdue" or miss a check in.

    In many cases a cellular phone provides adequate coverage, in other cases a satellite phone or VHS radio provides better coverage as employees visit remote areas. Implementation of GPS and Beacon equipment in vehicles or on their person may facilitate identifying worker location when a search is to be initiated.

    Supervisors must evaluate the type and location of work and choose the most appropriate means of communication.

    3. Overdue Employee

    Monitoring is a simple verification that the employee has reported their position or reported a safe completion of the mission within a prescribed period of time. If the employee(s) are overdue, efforts are to be made to contact the employee. If no contact can be made within a reasonable timeframe, search and rescue procedures are to be engaged.

    a) Basic Requirements for Monitoring

    All established check ins must ensure the department is aware of any "overdue" employees within a reasonable timeframe and not to exceed two (2) hours. The example procedure templates provided have been designed to guide the supervisor in the development of their own specific check in procedure.

    You can find the Procedures for the Traveler and the Procedures for the "On-Call" Person below.

    Any procedure that effectively identifies when an employee has missed a predefined check in to convey that they are safe or have safely completed their mission, is part of monitoring. This means that any agreements with other agencies, such as Park Wardens and the Polar Shelf to report on status at regular intervals, or procedures for reporting to Air Traffic Controllers or to Fisheries and Oceans when using air or water crafts, or any protocol that requires employees to call their supervisor during or at the end of their workday, qualifies as part of monitoring.

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Safety Check In Directive

    b) Use of Providers

    Some teams have opted to use providers to assist them in monitoring an employee's status and whereabouts. This practice has become very common within the department and within other industries. In situations where calls are likely to be made outside of regular business hours or when the on-call person may be difficult to contact, providers may be preferable (ie. 24 / 7 coverage). Teams may use the provider of their choice. Supervisors can tailor the check in procedure to suit organizational needs but they must keep in mind that the procedure must meet the requirements of this directive. You will also find the attached Protocols that the providers will be expected to follow. For more information about available providers, contact your Regional OHS Coordinator. Requests for information

    If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Safety Check In Directive or require information about the use of the on-call employee or provider; please feel free to discuss the matter with your Regional OHS Coordinator.

    Reference

    Critical Incident Response Guide: http://infolane.ncr.ec.gc.ca/hr/OSH/mit/guide_e.html or Appendix II

    Working Alone Policy: http://infolane.ncr.ec.gc.ca/hr/OSH/ARP/work_alone_e.doc

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Safety Check In Directive

    An outline of the Safety Check In Directive (Diagram)

     Need for field work arises and is approved.

     Employee(s) prepares for the field work and

    the related tasks while following

    departmental safety standards

     Employee(s) completes the check in

    itinerary and submits it to the on-call person

     (or agency).

     The employee(s) depart for their field work.

     Situation #1 Situation #2 Situation #3

The employee(s) have The employee(s) needs The employee(s) did not completed their task safely check in to report their assistance

    and are back at Home status on time (overdue)

    The on-call The employee(s) The employee(s) person attempts calls in to request check in to report to call the their status on time. assistance employee(s)

    Assistance is The on-call The on-call The on-call person coordinated by the on-person reach the person closes out the call person as per do not reach the employee(s) itinerary emergency procedures employee(s)

    If needed; assistance is A search is coordinated by the on-coordinated by the call person as per on-call person emergency procedures

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Safety Check In Directive

    Traveler’s procedures and responsibilities for pre-field, in-field and post-field

    operations.

Pre-field duties:

    1. The traveler would fill out both sides of the trip itinerary. The itinerary shall include:

    ; All dates while in the field (travel status);

    ; Names of hotels/motels where the field person/crew will be staying with the appropriate dates and phone

    numbers;

    ; The name and number of the air charter company if you are chartering a plane or helicopter;

    ; The name and number of Park wardens if employees are traveling/hiking in wilderness areas or the back

    country;

    ; The time when they will check in each day while they are in the field (the agreed upon time(s) chosen

    each day in the field factors in that the earlier the time and the more frequent the intervals {ie. every 2-4

    hours}, the better one can respond where assessed risks warrant);

    ; Estimated daily work schedule or itinerary(that includes how many and which sites will be visited on

    each specific day);

    ; Field cell phone number or fleetnet number;

    ; Fax the front copy only of the itinerary to the provider;

    ; A copy of the itinerary is to be forwarded to the designated check in person (for the week you are in the

    field) with a 2nd copy left at your desk;

    ; A day trip to the field also requires a trip itinerary and a phone in to the provider;

    ; It is highly recommended that you take a copy of your itinerary with you, because it would have your

    check in times, hotels, the 1-800 number and the provider phone/fax number in case you have to

    change your schedule.

    2. The traveler should always have an up to date list of the following emergency services:

    ; Emergency transportation (taxi, ambulance);

    ; Health services;

    ; Nearby fire station;

    ; Police station ;

    ; Poison control centre.

    ; Workplace phone numbers.(desk, cell etc.)

    3. Make sure they have provided to their supervisor a prioritized list of emergency contact person(s) name and phone number(s).

In-field Duties:

Phone the provider before the identified time.

    If you think you won‟t be able make your phone-in time - advise the provider in advance so they can amend your time schedule.

    The on-call service will keep track of changes to your itinerary. Keep them informed and current. If you change your itinerary significantly, inform the person „on-call‟. For example; if you will be staying in a different city/town

    than what is on your itinerary then inform them accordingly. An accurate itinerary is essential as it‟s the basis for

    commencing a search if required.

    In-field status is defined as the moment you depart the office (or warehouse) for field work and until you check into your hotel or return to the office or home. It is recommended that your field phone be left on until you have checked in with the provider and/or into the evening hours to facilitate communications.

Post field Duties:

    a) Do not forget to phone in at the conclusion of your final day of field work. You must close off your

    field trip.

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Safety Check In Directive

    On-Call Person’s Procedures and Responsibilities

Supervisor and travelers will arrange for a person(s) to be “on-call” and maintain a schedule kept in a central

    location for easy access/reference for field staff.

    The “on-call” person must check the incoming itineraries and the fax machine at the end of each day for new or amended itineraries. Copies of any new itineraries must be made and replace previously submitted copies to ensure that the on-call person is current and would know where to commence a search if required. Fax a copy of the on-call schedule pertaining to your duty time only to the check in provider. Include your home phone and work phone numbers in addition to the on-call number.

    Keep within cell phone coverage or land line access at all times.

    Ensure the cell phone batteries are charged and that the phone is turned on.

    During week days, “on call” status would commence when the normal work day ends (16:00 hrs) and continue to

    approximately 12 AM. During the weekends it would normally commence at 8:A.M and continue to 11:00 P.M. The cell phone is to be left on” unless attempting to conserve energy when “battery low” with no possible

    recharge opportunity.

Emergency Protocol Procedure (Example)

    The following sequence of steps are provided as an example to be followed in the event that the provider contacts the person “on-call” due to an employee failing to report in by their designated time or they are overdue.

    These steps involve the use of discretion combined with a management decision.

    Try contacting the employee on their land line phone, cell phone, sat phone, walkie-talkie, fleetnet, MSAT, VHS radio, radio room, fax, or email.

    Observe GPS coordinates for pinpointing the employee‟s location.

    Observe EPIRB or PLB signal for emergency beacon to locate the employee or confirm emergency condition. Contact the hotel that is listed on their itinerary to determine if they have checked into the hotel or if they have made any contact that evening via the hotel operator.

    Continue to try to contact the individual(s) for another ? hour.

    If they are flying in remote areas, contact the air charter company to see if the pilot has closed his/her flight plan. In the case of special projects, i.e. Parks, contact the Park warden to see if the employees have checked in or if the wardens have heard from them that day.

    If other personnel are in the field, contact other field personnel in adjacent field areas to see if they had made any contact with the missing / overdue employee.

    Contact the individual‟s supervisor to verify any previous contact or communication.

    If local land owners or individuals are known, try contacting them to see if they have seen the employee. Contact local police and/or hospitals in case of a vehicular or other accident (keep in mind that police and RCMP don‟t officially get involved until someone has been missing for 24 hours).

    Ask the family, with discretion, if any contact has recently been made and as to the employee‟s whereabouts.

    For WSC check “realtime data platforms” for emergency codes if appropriate.

Before a search is initiated; the employee‟s supervisor or manager should be informed. If the supervisor can not

    be reached and all the above steps are complete then a search must be initiated. Management is ultimately responsible for the well being of their staff and must be kept informed when there has been a critical incident. If you have determined that a critical incident has occurred, refer to the Critical Incident Response Guide

    (Appendix IV). This guide should be located beside your phone at all times. Keep in mind that you shouldn‟t be involved in a search unless there is someone qualified to take over the on-call duties. You will need to conserve your energy for leadership and coordination.

    Your own state of mind and fatigue must be considered.

Start organizing a search based on the field itinerary.

    A detailed log of calls made, to whom, and times should be made once a search is initiated.

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