Communication

Iridium Satellite Communication Network

What communication system is required by field researchers? 

You need to have an "effective communications system" to provide workers with a method of signaling their need for assistance. Even with the best communication equipment, there may be times when the worker is rendered incapable of using it. To ensure there is contact even in a case such as this, the communication system must include regularly contact and be initiated by the employer or designate at intervals appropriate to the nature of the hazard associated with the work.

What's an appropriate check-in schedule?

Frequency of the check-in is dependent upon the nature of the hazard.  Are you working in an isolated area, is there chance of wildlife in the area, are you anticipating bad weather? The more hazards, the more often you should check in.

Who should workers be checking in with?

The check-in delegate should be available during the entire time the researcher is in the field and many times that is 24/7.  This can be someone appointed in your lab, someone you are collaborating with who has their own established check-in or the Provincial Radio Control Centre, if you have registered. 

What communication tool is required?

A communication tool that allows you to signal for help from within your group as well as with the outside (emergency medical support). This may be a cell phone, a satellite phone, a two-way GPS satellite based messaging device (inReach), or a SPOT (only in connection with the PRCC as they are not two-way). Environment, Health & Safety has developed an Emergency Response Process for Field Work. This flowchart allows you to determine what communication device is recommended for use in the field.