On 31 March 2022, the Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws replaced the health and safety elements of the Mines Safety and Inspection laws. For information visit www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/whs
All health and safety notifications, forms and guidance for mining and petroleum has moved to the WorkSafe website
What can be involved in travelling for work?
The isolated locations of some mines and exploration leases can mean long commute distances for workers to reach their destination to start work. Some workers travel from interstate or even overseas.
Upon arrival at site, a worker’s duties can then involve travel:
- near a mine
- between a camp and mine infrastructure
- in brownfield and greenfield exploration situations.
Being fit for work
There are a number of factors that contribute to fitness for work. With travel, fatigue plays a major role and can be pre-existing (e.g. poor sleep before flying in) or brought on by the environment (e.g. hot day) or task repetitiveness (e.g. 6 hour drive).
Find out about What is fitness for work? and related topics in the Resources section.
Regardless of distance to be travelled, vehicles should be checked regularly (e.g. pre-start checks) and assessed as fit for purpose before leaving. The vehicle should be appropriate for the terrain and task, as should be the worker’s skill level. It should also be equipped to deal with the hazards presented (e.g. ‘bog boards’ and winches, and the occupants trained in their use).
There should be sufficient water and food for the number of occupants, especially when working in remote locations.
The vehicle and occupants should have communications devices that are appropriate for use in the area being travelled (e.g. two-way radio, satellite phone, mobile phone). Communication may be required with the site or camp, as well as between vehicles or work groups.
Knowing the environment
Western Australia’s harsh conditions can mean extremes in temperature, brief storms, cyclones and other extreme weather events. These can impact significantly on travel plans.
Drive to conditions
For further information on weather conditions, visit Working in remote areas.
Be aware of road and track uses, and identify possible hazards before leaving to mitigate the risk. For example, will travel be on gazetted roads only or include passing through a mining area, or over a farm or pastoral lease, or crossing creeks or railways?
For further information, go to Guidance about traffic management
It is important to have an emergency plan in place so people can respond appropriately if something goes wrong.
The travel plan is a critical piece of information, and includes the proposed route and travel times.
For further information go to Risk management approach to emergency preparedness
See part 2 and 3 of Mineral exploration drilling - code of practice below for some hazards related to travel and emergency management respectively.