It is recognised that during some of the work activities undertaken by RAYNET-UK that there will be occasions where working outside will be required and inevitably this will result in personnel being exposed to inclement weather conditions.
Inclement weather can have significant effects on people and to the quality of the work to be carried out. It is important to avoid work in adverse weather conditions wherever possible. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on weather forecasts.
When it is deemed essential for work to be carried out in adverse weather then it is important to assess the risk and to carefully consider the work environment conditions.
Certain work activities pose a significantly higher risk when being undertaken in adverse weather and these should be carefully considered before being planned and carried out. Activities such as working at height in strong winds, working in freezing or snowy weather and in heavy rain.
For example, situations where work activities are taking place near slopes, ground instability may be a factor or on ladders where there is a risk of the equipment being blown over in strong winds should be avoided and re-planned for when the weather is more favourable.
Some of the factors to consider for working in adverse weather conditions include;
Making preparations in advance can help to avoid any unnecessary disruption to activities and save time and money. Wherever possible and practicable to do so in times of persistent poor weather normal work activities my need to be rearranged to include for indoor work only.
Where outdoor work is essential during adverse weather then consideration should be given to the type of work to be undertaken, is it really essential? Is there any means of protection that can be provided such as; canopies, tents etc.? Is waterproof and/or warm clothing available? Are there suitable facilities available for drying wet clothes and for workers to get dry and warm?
Undertaking a full risk assessment and preparing a method statement for the activities is essential to maintaining a safe system of work and to ensure that operatives are not overly exposed to the adverse conditions.
In order to manage the risk in adverse weather conditions it is important to :-
Once all the activities have been considered and it’s decided that work can be carried out safely and appropriate precautions put in place, it is important to make sure that work activities are monitored to ensure that any deterioration in weather conditions are suitably assessed, so that appropriate decisions can be made to continue, postpone or stop the activity.
It should be recognised that in adverse weather conditions people’s ability to perform to the highest standards will be greatly impaired and their concentration levels may not be at their best. Also if there is a need to use tools they may not be able to handle these as efficiently as normal and as such a higher risk of an accident occurring may exist. Therefore management should consider carefully when continuing with work where these situations arise.
Ensure that work activities have been carefully assessed and that only essential works will be carried out. Ensure that adequate resources are made available to provide adequate protection.
Ensure that adequate instruction is given to operatives on Inclement Weather working and that only essential works are carried out. Closely monitor activities and be prepared to stop or postpone work if situation deteriorates.
Always use PPE for the purpose it is designed for. Carry out duties in a safe and responsible manner and fully in accordance with training received unless you deem it unsafe to do so.
The Jersey Raynet Group set up a Raynet stand at the 2 day 'JCG Serves' charity/volunteer event last week.
"Peter GJ8PVL, Nigel GJ7LJJ and Simon GJ4ODX recently represented RAYNET-UK at a display of local charities held at Jersey College for Girls. School pupils, teachers and other charity representatives were given demonstrations of Amateur Radio, with a RAYNET-UK slant, over a period of two days. Reactions were very favourable and useful connections were made with other local organisations."
"Interest in the demonstration of a working FLDigi link setup was surpassed by the old morse key and buzzer next to it! We're planning to attend more events next year to help generate interest in Amateur Radio and RAYNET-UK" said Simon .
Simon Langlois, GJ4ODX & Text/Photos: RadCom.
Manfred Blaha recently was named president of the Public Safety Communication Europe (PSCE), an independent forum where representatives of public-safety user organizations, industry and research institutes can exchange ideas and best practices, develop road maps, and improve the future of public-safety communications.
PSCE’s goal is to bring together three communities — end users, research institutes and industry — that are key for innovation for public-safety communications practitioners. PSCE was established as a result of a European Commission funded project in 2008 and has its headquarters in Brussels. RadioResource International interviewed Blaha about PSCE’s plans for 2018 and accomplishments this year.
What are the PSCE’s main goals for the end of this year and into 2018? PSCE’s next conference and exhibition will take place in Madrid 28 – 29 November. With that event, we will continue to inform our members about technology trends and challenges. Key topics of the conference will focus on a user-centric view on wireless broadband, internet of public-safety things and regulatory barriers for public protection and disaster response (PPDR) in relation to the new European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation.
In addition to speakers from the Spanish National Police and the Guardia Civil, we will have an impressive lineup of presentations from the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) in the United States, the U.K. Emergency Services Network (ESN), France, Belgium and Norway on their broadband plans; speakers from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP); and presentations by the Spanish Data Protection Agency, Motorola Solutions and Kingston University, Teltronic and e*Message.
One of the highlights of the program will be a tour through the Madrid 1-1-2 emergency call center, one of the most innovative public-safety answering points (PSAPs) in Europe.
PSCE on 27 November will organize a workshop and an Open Hackathon of Europe’s nExt generation eMergencY commuNicatiOnS (EMYNOS) project dealing with next-generation emergency communications. Additionally, PSCE will host an international broadband meeting with representatives from FirstNet, the U.K. ESN project and participants of the European BroadMap and future BroadWay team.
For 2018, PSCE continues to discuss technology issues, questions and solutions with and for our members — not only about broadband, but other topics to improve first responders’ situational awareness, support their need for secure emergency communications and discuss topics of all types of mission-critical information and communications systems and technologies.
The big topic for PSCE and European first responders and practitioners will be BroadWay. This is the working title for a project proposal we submitted to the European Commission to run a pre-commercial procurement (PCP), a public tender procedure for broadband pilot systems, showcasing the Europewide cross-organizational and cross-border interoperability in realistic first responder scenarios involving practitioners working together crossing land borders, sea borders and even crossing long-distance borders with transport of first responders per plane to a scene of incident.
PSCE seeks to complement stakeholders’ own investments with the European Commission incentive. The incentive that comes directly from the European Commission, by instruction from EU member states, brings the end user community together toward defining a common goal and understanding. Once a common need is understood, a series of public procurement steps can ensure that innovation activity takes place primarily within the needs of the end users, and that these needs will be met.
A PCP doesn’t procure final systems. It intends to challenge industry and researchers to innovatively solve the real problems that public-safety end users collectively face. This includes on-the-ground public-safety practitioner needs, the needs of those operating their communications networks and the importance that government investment should not become locked into 20-year-old systems.
This project is planned to be the continuation of the BroadMap project. We hope to be awarded with the contract in early 2018 to support the EU and its member states to get the best solution for an interoperable broadband network that will enable better first responder service for European citizens and make the European Union more secure, a “Secure Union.”
What were the group’s biggest accomplishments during 2017?
PSCE managed to unify 15 public-safety organizations and submit the validated user requirements to the European Commission and a road map for European first responder interoperable broadband communications in the BroadMap project.
Continuing these efforts, PSCE could exceed the requirements of the European Commission by gathering with 11 governmental organizations (buyers) that are willing to support and contribute to the planned purchasing of innovative solutions in the PCP project (BroadWay) and motivate almost 50 first responder organizations from across Europe to volunteer in validating future broadband pilot systems of that project. This seems to be the biggest teaming of European public-safety users and organizations in a single information communications technology (ICT) project.
In 2017, PSCE obtained the status of a “market representation partner” within the standardization body 3GPP, which gives us the opportunity to better represent PSCE’s members and project partners and better contribute to the standardization issues of first responder future communications tools.
PSCE communicated to and with the EU the need for interoperable networks and the need for shared information and information systems for tackling the major security issues of the EU — from terrorism attacks to the migration crisis to civil protection disasters because of climate changes.
How does your work differ from the TCCA’s Critical Communications Broadband Group (CCBG)?
PSCE is focusing on the work for PPDR end users and to represent them within the European Union’s institutions and organizations. Neither the topics nor the type of end-users is limited within PSCE. We are dealing with radio communications, as well as 1-1-2 and emergency communications, video technology, internet of things (IoT), apps and the wider civil protection arena with solutions of situational awareness, common information space solutions and others supporting the first responder and the crisis manager in an emergency operations center and everybody in between.
Working with universities and research institutes and maintaining a platform for all — users, researchers and industry — is also a big task within PSCE. We are working together to find innovative solutions fitting the needs of the practitioners. And even if we are separate organizations, we established a cooperation agreement several years ago, and PSCE and the TCCA and its CCBG are working together wherever necessary and helpful for our first responders, PPDR users and practitioners.
Will Europe and North America work together more closely on LTE for PPDR?
I believe it is not only North America and Europe; it has to be a worldwide effort of all PPDR organizations to intensively work together on the topic of broadband for public safety — not only on LTE but also 5G on the long run.
PSCE has a cooperation agreement with the U.S. National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) for several years now and established a good relation with FirstNet. Together with the FirstNet team, we are planning the next international meeting with partners from Canada, Australia, South Korea, several European countries to exchange information, share best practices and plan further joint efforts and collaboration. This event will take place along with the next PSCE conference in May 2018 in Brussels.
Are you working on any professional mobile radio (PMR)-specific initiatives?
PSCE had been active in an EU-funded project as PPDR’s TETRA/Tetrapol networks are still in operation in Europe and 4G networks start to evolve. The SALUS project dealt with questions and solutions of interoperability and interworking between those systems.
We fully understand the user’s operational and technical need to keep the TETRA and Tetrapol systems up and running for several years for mission-critical voice communications, but PSCE is focusing more on the innovation and development of future radio communications.
A news feed for all things related to RAYNET-UK and Emergency Communications