The SES are constantly trying to get the message out about how we can all prepare and stay safe in a natural disaster. This couldn’t be more evident in an incident that took place on an island off Western Australia’s north-west coast, in March this year, and the US energy giant failing to evacuate workers from the gas project on that island as a category 3 cyclone hit.
Up to 1,600 workers were forced to sleep on blow-up mattresses in common areas in accommodation camps during the category 3 cyclone. The accommodation was only built to withstand category 2 cyclones.
One worker was nearly hit by a flying road sign when he and a mate attempted to get food and water from another camp site. Under their contracts, workers were allowed to leave the worksite in the event of a cyclone, but those who wanted to leave were prohibited from doing so. Workers were furious and many had refused to work the next morning.
Mick Buchan the WA State Secretary for the West Australian branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) said the Energy company should have evacuated the workers earlier “They’ve left it too little too late and they’ve put these people, these workers at risk, and put them all in these common areas, instead of evacuating them at the appropriate time.”
This incident highlights the need for appropriate steps to be in place in case of natural disasters and other emergencies. No matter what your business you should always have an emergency plan in place.