When considering the risks associated with your day-to-day work activities, one risk that often gets taken for granted or even overlooked altogether is getting to your destination safely in the first place.

For most of us this often involves driving or commuting a short distance, and in the event of a need for immediate assistance, help is not far from hand, either in person from people nearby or via a quick phone call.

For some however, where distances are greater, work sites more geographically remote or isolated, and where mobile phone signal is patchy or non-existent, simply reaching your destination presents significant risks.

If your work takes you to or through a remote location, would your Manager know if you didn’t get to the worksite safely? And just as importantly, would they know if you didn’t make it home?

The evolution of Journey Plans has sought to incorporate an approach that (as the name suggests) requires workers to plan their work-related journeys and to consider the risks associated with the journey to and from site. Where a risk is identified, the Journey Plan records the intended strategies and controls to eliminate or reduce the risk.

For work in, or travelling through, remote and isolated areas (typically areas where there is no mobile phone signal, infrequent passing traffic to provide assistance, or locations where a worker may be alone for long periods) consideration must be given to providing an effective communication system that alerts management and ensures assistance can be engaged in the event of an emergency.

A number of communication tools can provide this function including satellite phones and UHF/VHF radios, and these days also GPS spot trackers, satellite sleeves, man-down pendants and journey management apps.

One of the major benefits to using GPS spot trackers and journey management apps is their ability to pinpoint a worker’s location. Another major benefit is their functional capability to send automatic reminders for workers to regularly “check-in”, and an escalation process that is automatically initiated when check-ins don’t occur. Should emergency assistance be needed, valuable time is saved through earlier communications and first-responders are easily able to locate injured workers.

How does your workplace ensure workers are able to access emergency assistance when working remotely?

Please contact QRMC for assistance in relation to the management of the risks associated with working in geographically remote or isolated locations.