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Benefits of an Advanced Emergency Response System

July 5, 2021

While your organization has an existing mine emergency response plan (MERP), periodic reviews can help ensure continued effectiveness, determine if updated training is required, or confirm if actions stemming from a previous review have been completed.

Reviews should also be conducted following drills or actual emergencies to pinpoint areas requiring improvement; if there are new or changing circumstances to consider (such as site infrastructure, processes, materials, or personnel); or if changes are made to local codes or regulations.

Here are some additional items to consider when you and your team are going through your organization’s MERP review process.

Data Flexibility

If your organization is still using pencils and paper forms, then you’re probably spending too much time and resources on processing data and communicating information.

The Focus FS Emergency Response Module improves all your needs with a secure, cloud-based data collection and communications system. It allows you to gather, share and update data in real-time with your mobile device so you and your team can make informed and timely decisions. Even if your network connection is temporarily lost, the system allows for continuous data collection that will automatically sync and update once you’re reconnected.

Personnel Coordination

Emergency situations are stressful and require a lot of energy to get through. You need to account for emergency response teams and communicate any updates or changes with them at lightning speeds. That can be difficult to achieve when trying to decipher hastily-written paper forms, make use of outdated paper maps, or relying on outmoded landlines or radios.

Our Emergency Response Module allows you to quickly enter emergency response team names and other relevant data into the system for easy reference on user-friendly dashboards. Communicate with teams in real-time with digital note sharing; and share mission updates on interactive digital maps. Rescue teams can then move quickly and make pertinent actions that can help ensure timely and successful missions.

Reviews and Actions

Post-incident investigations, whether they’re carried out internally or by external authorities, can be time consuming and necessitate the collection and analysis of large quantities of data and information. How much of this is gathered during the actual event can affect the overall quality of root-cause analysis, which in turn can influence the effectiveness of corrective and preventative actions.

Our Emergency Response Module can vastly improve investigations and follow-up actions. All data entered is securely stored in the cloud, providing easy access and analysis by authorized personnel and external investigators. Any new information, such as post-incident interviews, can be uploaded and shared for enhanced evaluations and record keeping. Reports can be written, reviewed, digitally signed, and then shared with stakeholders and regulatory bodies. Corrective and preventative actions can also be tracked and managed to ensure completion and to improve accountability.

User-friendly Approach

You might be thinking it could be difficult getting everyone onboard when moving from a longstanding paper-based or outdated software system to an advanced digital system. Or perhaps you think training and onboarding a new system is going to be slow and painful.

We understand these concerns and have taken them into account when building our Emergency Response Module. Our user-friendly interface requires little to no training, and is designed for easy use in stressful and fast-paced situations. We also have resources available to help those requiring some extra help adapting to a digital system, so you should have few issues appealing to new hires or encouraging longtime employees to use our system.

A well-prepared and implemented MERP that is reviewed periodically can greatly enhance your organization’s ability to effectively respond to an emergency situation and help protect people’s lives and safety, as well as safeguard property and the environment.

Sources:

BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/mineral-exploration-mining/documents/health-and-safety/code-review/merp_guideline_2017_revision_final.pdf

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety:

https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/hsprograms/planning.html

Workplace Safety North:

https://www.workplacesafetynorth.ca/sites/default/files/pdfs/MR%20Emergency%20Response%20Planning%20for%20Surface%20Mines.pdf

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