A company in WA has been fined in excess of $50,000 when two of their consultants were lost in a remote area, luckily neither persons was injured. It was found the company failed to provide and maintain a safe work environment as the two consultants involved were not provided with appropriate training and lacked the functioning equipment necessary for travelling in remote locations”.
The key factors to this case were;
- Staff were not given any training on travel in remote areas; including the use of a four wheel drive vehicle, navigation equipment or instructions on the conditions of the area they were travelling to.
- The two staff were not provided with any navigational tools such as a map or GPS
- A lack of adequate communication systems; they did not have a functional satellite phone, and had to find a pay phone after they became lost in order to contact help.
As a minimum the following should be in place within all organisations that travel remotely;
- Appropriate means of communication equipment, including procedure for regular contact.
- Ensure availability of emergency response.
- A full training/briefing program for all personnel involved.
This case highlights the importance of evaluating travel situations prior to travel and implementation of adequate controls. This is best done by conducting a travel risk assessment. For more information contact the Safety Action team on 03 9690 6311.