Download PDF: ISPL Insight – Safety – Travelling to Work

October is National Safety Work Month, so we thought it might be a good idea to look at the safety issues associated with travelling associated with work.  In a world where we can now travel from Australia to London in just 17 hours with no layovers, it is no surprise that the opportunity to travel for work is now open to everyone. But what makes travelling unsafe and what can we do to make sure we get to go home to the people we love?

Nearly everyone who works must travel by some means, some people ride, some drive and some fly. So let’s take the time to look into what exactly it means to travel safely to work and home by looking at some specific examples of transport, what makes them safe and/or unsafe and the positive and/or negative effects associated with them.

Public Transport

In general, public transport is a quick, safe and effective way to travel to and from work, it gives the user a chance to pay attention to anything other than the trip itself. Public transport gives you the chance to listen to music, read a book or catch up on some last minute work before you have got to work. The negative side of using public transport can be using it late at night. This can be daunting, however, there are safety steps put in place by the Government Authority to help.

Did you know that after 7 pm on any Transperth bus outside of the CBD the drivers will drop you at any point along the designated route?

If you drive along the freeways in the mornings in you would think that every man woman and their dog drive to work. Freeway congestion can cause delays, frustrations, and aggravation before you even get to work and then again before you get home. This frame of mind can cause problems for other road users, your work colleagues and your family. The best cause of action if you drive is to always leave a little earlier, never drive tired, always follow the road rules and try to stay calm and relaxed. This will help reduce accidents and frustrations and get everyone where they need to go a little smoother. On the positive side, you can always choose your own music and no one else can hear you sing.

Drive In Drive Out (DIDO)

Nearly everyone has heard of FIFO but maybe a term not as well recognised is DIDO. DIDO drivers tend to be people who drive longer distances to go to work. Some will stay at the campsite and some will choose to drive home. This form of travel has resulted in the loss of lives in the last couple of years, unfortunately, so what about it is so unsafe.

Many worksites that have workers that DIDO have policies in place to prevent accidents and fatalities on site and in transit to and from work. Most guidelines advise a 14hr door to door, as most work sites of this nature have employees work on a 12-hour shifts it means that work must not drive more than 1hr to and from work. These recommendations, in general, try to make sure that you don’t drive fatigued, put lives at risk and you get home safely to your loved ones.

As DIDO occurs mainly in regional areas it is not only fatigue that causes safety concerns, with Australia being the vast landscape it is the wildlife also plays a major role in this. Many accidents on regional roads are caused by kangaroos, cows and even camels. If you do DIDO for long distances on isolated roads, make sure your vehicle and you are equipped just in case.

Fly In Fly Out (FIFO)

In general, the planes are pretty safe so the main concern for safety in regards to travelling is fatigue and frame of mind. The implications of driving tired we have all heard before, you can put yourself and others at risk by doing so. If you feel like you are too tired to drive home after your flight because you have just worked a 12-hour shift, then you have a number of options. You can ask your employers to put you up for another night accommodation and fly you home the next morning. If this doesn’t work for you, call a taxi or a loved one to come to pick you up, take the bus or book accommodation close to the airport for the night and drive home refreshed in the morning. Choosing to drive after you have just completed a 12hr shift and flown for 1-2hr could just make it your last shift.

Something to Come Home To

No matter how you travel to work, bus, boat or helicopter even, there are always safety concerns. The best thing you can do is undertake a risk assessment by asking yourself the following 1) Am I too tired, 2) am I am the right frame of mind, and 3) do I need to use the loo before I go? Every factor matters and ultimately it is you who knows how you feel and it is you that can make the trip safe for yourself and everybody else. Working is a part of life but it is not how you live life, make sure you get home to the people you love and to the people who love you, so everyone else can too.

Safe Travels and if your business would like to review your employee travel risk please email or call 08 9468 0338.