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Weather And Environmental Risks

Table of Contents
9.0 Weather and Environmental Risks 
9.1 Weather Hazards 
   9.1.1 General Preparations
9.2 Lightning 
   9.2.1 Risks and Hazards
   9.2.2 Prevention and Preparation
9.3 Whiteouts 
   9.3.1 Risks and Hazards
   9.3.2 Prevention and Preparation
9.4 Avalanches
   9.4.1 Risks and Hazards
   9.4.2 Prevention and Preparation
9.5 Floods
   9.5.1 Risks and Hazards 
   9.5.2 Prevention and Preparation 
   9.6 Mudflows and Landslides 
   9.6.1 Risks and Hazards 
   9.6.2 Prevention and Preparation 
9.7 High Winds 
   9.7.1 Tornadoes
   9.7.2 Hurricanes, Cyclones and Typhoons
9.8 Environmental Risks
9.9 Cold Injuries 
   9.9.1 Risks and Hazards
   9.9.2 Project Planning to Prevent Cold Injuries
   9.9.3 Hypothermia 
      9.9.3.1 Prevention and Preparation 
      9.9.3.2 Symptoms and Recognition
      9.9.3.3 Treatment for Mild Hypothermia 
   9.9.4 Cold Water Immersion Hypothermia
   9.9.5 Frostbite 
   9.9.6 Immersion Foot
9.10 Heat Illnesses and Solar Injuries
   9.10.1 Risks and Hazards 
   9.10.2 Project Planning to Prevent Heat Illnesses
   9.10.3 Hyperthermia
      9.10.3.1 Prevention and Preparation 
      9.10.3.2 Less Serious Forms of Hyperthermia
      9.10.3.3 Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke 
      9.10.3.4 Interim Treatment Prior to Evacuation to a Medical Centre 
   9.10.4 Sunburn 
   9.10.5 Snow Blindness
9.11 Altitude Illness
   9.11.1 Risks and Hazards
   9.11.2 Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) 
      9.11.2.1 Symptoms of AMS 
      9.11.2.2 Recognition and Classification of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
      9.11.2.3 Treatment for AMS 
   9.11.3 Severe AMS High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) 
   9.11.4 Severe AMS High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) 
   9.11.5 Other Altitude-Related Illnesses
   9.11.6 Planning for High Altitude Projects
9.12 Resources

Introduction 

Exploration field employees may work in highly variable physical and climatic environments, and possibly where they have little or no previous experience. Consequently, they risk exposure to unfamiliar natural hazards, which may be weather related, environment related, terrain related or a combination of these hazards. When commencing exploration projects in new and unfamiliar or high risk areas, the best approach is to learn as much as possible from knowledgeable sources and perform risk assessments to determine which risks and hazards are likely to be most significant. It may be advisable to hire experts to help assess the risks, develop safe operating procedures (SOPs) and train field crews, especially if crews are inexperienced. Additionally, it is important not to become complacent about risks and hazards after gaining experience in a region. Information in this section should be helpful in developing safe operation procedures and training topics for safety meetings and to mitigate risks.