We’ve recently held a course at QER to keep our people up to date with the many legislated safety requirements that fall on us as a mine and process plant.
While the legislation is a bit complicated, the heart of the requirements is very simple: managing risk to an acceptable level. That is, carefully thinking ahead about what might go wrong, and putting in place actions or other measures which prevent bad events from happening and minimize the consequences of unplanned events that do happen. The final step of course is making sure that those actions or other measures remain effective over time.
The blaze at Notre Dame this week, where 800 years of iconic history was devastated in a night, is a reminder of how important those measures can be. While the details of the incident won’t be understood for some time, if ever, early reports suggest the fire alarms may have sounded 23 minutes before the fire was discovered, but were initially dismissed as a false alarm. The speed of response to the outbreak of fire is so important in determining what losses it might cause.
As our families get together at Easter and there’s some time for reflection, it’s worth spending a moment thinking about how prepared our families are for emergencies. The weather’s cooler; the kids are home from school; candles are out; there’s a few open fires around; heaters have been dragged out of the cupboard covered in dust.
As well taking measures to prevent the possibility of a fire around home, it’s a good idea to have a simple emergency plan in place. Is it time to test and change the batteries on those smoke alarms? (Great idea to do this on the same day every year so you don’t forget). If there is a fire, can everyone get out of the house easily (eg. Is that security door locked? Is the key left in it? Do the kids know how to open it?). If you had to evacuate, where would everyone get together? How do you make sure the pets get out – and no one puts themselves at risk to go back in after them? If a fire does break out, do you have an extinguisher to put it out (if not, $25 at Bunnings!). A family fire plan is a good investment of an hour of your spare time over the holidays.
It’s also of course a busy (and potentially dangerous) time on our roads, so take extra care and be patient. Let’s make Easter memorable for all the right reasons.
From all of us at QER, we hope you have a very safe happy time with your family. Treasure every moment!