Antarctica New Zealand strives for Zero Harm both for workplace injuries and the environment. With a strong Health, Safety and Environment culture, staff start their morning toolbox and weekly base meetings with a safety share. Antarctica New Zealand has a number of policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of all people supported by the programme, whether they are at Scott Base, out in the field or in our Christchurch office.
Our seven lifesaving rules are:
- Flags highlight danger, no go areas and safe paths. Know the colours and obey them
- Only ever operate equipment for which you have been trained
- Condition-one weather can kill you. Know and understand limitations with each weather condition
- Always wear the correct personal protective clothing and equipment during work and recreation
- Never enter a restricted area unless permitted to do so
- Always sign out when travelling away from Scott Base and back in again on return
- Always speak up if you think a situation creates risk, an unsafe condition or the potential for unsafe actions
Fire Safety at Scott Base
Scott Base has smoke, heat and sprinkler systems, alongside eight fire hydrants, and more than 100 fire extinguishers. Regular fire drills for everyone on Base keep fire prevention and awareness at a high level. There is a fire crew on duty at all times which is made up of Scott Base staff who are trained by the New Zealand Fire Service to use these resources in fire response. In the event of a significant fire, key passageways can be isolated to contain the blaze, enabling the Scott Base Fire crews to successfully tackle it in a coordinated manner.
Scott Base retains around 64,000 litres of water at all times for firefighting as part of its safety procedures.
The United States Antarctic Program also has a professional firefighting crew stationed at McMurdo station a few kilometres away. McMurdo and Scott Base fire crews provide back up for each other and sometimes run drills and training exercises together.
Fuel at Scott Base
The main fuel used at Scott Base is kerosene based AN8 which is an aviation grade fuel that can be used at temperatures down to -50°C. Fuel is shipped to Ross Island by the United States Antarctic Programme (USAP) once a year and then stored in large storage tanks at McMurdo station. USAP then deliver AN8 to the two main storage tanks at Scott Base. Fuel tanks at Scott Base are basically one smaller tank inside another slightly larger tank. This arrangement means that if the inner tank leaks then the outer tank will contain the spill which prevents any fuel being released to the environment.
Any equipment that is designed to run on diesel can also run on AN8. Vehicles at Scott Base use up to 40,000 litres of AN8 every year, and the boilers for heating the buildings burn around 160,000 litres a year. There are three main generators at Scott Base which run on AN8. These generators contribute to the Ross Island Wind Energy (RIWE) grid shared by Antarctica New Zealand and USAP. Antarctica New Zealand is certified under the Certified Emission Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS) which helps to monitor and control fuel use at Scott Base.
Mogas (unleaded petrol) is also held for some older vehicles and portable generators. Scott Base generally uses around 10,000 litres of mogas per year.