How an Effective Heat Management Plan Contributed to Employee Wellbeing and Job Satisfaction
A mine site in Central Queensland wanted to update their workplace heat stress management practices to understand the different levels of risk across their workforce and implement a strategy to actively manage the risk. They were looking for a heat stress management strategy that:
- Doesn’t sit on a shelf but is used on a daily basis
- Covers all the factors that change the risk (Activity, Clothing and PPE, location, personal factors)
- Uses an appropriate heat stress index
- Is easy to implement and gain support from teams
- Is repeatable and robust
Figure 1 – Weather Intelligence proposed journey for an effective Heat Management
Proactive Heat Stress Risk Management Process
Actionable Site-based Risk Assessment
The Weather Intelligence heat risk assessment methodology combines the details of specific SEGs (Similar Exposure Groups) with the long-term climate exposure to identify the risk of a heat related illness across the site. This allows the development of a site-based TARP (Trigger Action Response Plan) that identifies who is at risk under what conditions, and associated actions to reduce the risk.
Having the heat risk assessment completed for each SEG really helped us implement an effective communication plan. Site supervisors review the daily Heat (now part of the Kite platform) report with their teams at the pre-start meeting which results in healthy discussions about how to minimise the risk. The adoption of this approach has been well received by managers and their teams. Our workforce now understands and trusts the process.
The practicality of the solution and the key to success is to operationalise the site-based TARP via our Heat (now part of the Kite platform) service. Heat (now part of the Kite platform) delivers a daily report to the email of key supervision that identifies the risk levels for each SEG over the coming days. This allows planners & line supervision to reschedule activities, if needed, to reduce the exposure & mitigate the outcomes to a potentially high-risk event.
An effective communication plan facilitated by Daily Reports
It’s gratifying to see that our employers value our wellbeing and are mindful of when there is a heat stress risk. They put up a chart showing the forecast for the next 2 days and we discuss it every day during summer, we feel looked after.
Overall, the site operators experienced:
- Wellbeing of the workers during summer
- Improved communications with teams
- Ample and transparent discussion regarding worker’s wellbeing during pre-start meetings
- Avoidance of prejudicial behaviour towards workers suffering from the heat.
Heat (now part of the Kite platform) takes the management plan off the desk and into the hands of those who need it in an easy-to-understand format for the best communication outcomes.
Christine Killip CEO Weather Intelligence