Safety Plan

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Going Places Ltd - Safety Plan

1. Introduction

This Safety Plan is based on injury prevention. It is the role of everyone at Going Places Ltd to anticipate and prepare for safety hazards. Our operational systems are put in place to avoid hazards and incidents and provide procedures in case an accident or emergency does occur.

General Policy for Health and Safety

Going Places Ltd recognises that safety is primary to our operation. Operational safety is a shared responsibility. Management is responsible for H & S policies and implementation. Once guided parties are in the field guides have responsibility for ensuring health and safety of all clients and guides. Both management and guides recognise that risks are inherent and all reasonable and practical steps are taken to eliminate or mitigate known hazards.

Scope of Going Places Ltd Safety Plan

This safety plan covers the safety aspects of the guided full day and half day walks we run in the front and high country of Department of Conservation National Parks and Reserves and other Conservation Estate lands in the North Island and South Island.

Going Places Ltd have two facets to their business. Firstly, to run 10 day trips where the group stays in local accommodations, do walks in the local area, and then move on. Secondly, Going Places Ltd run day or half day walks for people staying close to Arthur’s Pass and Mt Aspiring National Parks and who would like to visit these areas with an experienced guide.

All walks follow well formed tracks or recognised routes, starting and ending at established car parks. Walks are within 4 hours from the road end/car park and do not go above 2000 meters. The majority of the walks take place between November and April, although some walks (below bush line) are offered year round.

Clients may be transported to various locations in vehicles operated by Going Places Ltd.

No planned overnight outdoor camping is involved in the walks.

2. Legal Obligations

Legal Obligations – Going Places Ltd follow the provisions of the Health and Safety in Employment Act and all other relevant Acts of Parliament.

3. Industry Standards

Industry Standards – All walks offered by Going Places Ltd are undertaken within the parameters of existing industry standards of practice and safety, and are reviewed and upgraded regularly as the industry develops and becomes more structured.

Management provide procedures for safe practice. Guides have a background of leading groups of people in the outdoors, with experience and formal training in risk management, hazard identification, safe practice and emergency procedures in the outdoors.

All Going Places Ltd guides’ competency to lead clients in the activities and terrain authorised by the concession authority are assessed and attested by either an industry recognised independent qualified person (IQP) or a National Standard Body (NSB).

Maintain industry standards through the use of project checklists to stay compliant.

4. Operations Managers

Pursue continuous improvement in Health and Safety performance through the development of the Going Places Ltd. safety plan and procedures. To achieve this they:-

  • Systematically identify hazards and adequately assess and control risk to which employees and others are exposed.
  • Develop and maintain a positive Health and Safety culture through communication and consultation with employees
  • Provide information, instruction, supervision and training as part of ensuring competence and developing employees as a key resource
  • Ensure all training is regularly planned and recorded
  • Prevent accidents and cases of work related ill health
  • Use and provide safe equipment
  • Maintain safe, healthy working conditions
  • Maintain up-to-date Health and Safety information
  • Involve all staff in Health and Safety systems and procedures
  • Ensure there are regular planned Health and Safety meetings with staff
  • Ensure planned regular emergency procedures practice and evaluation
  • Check the Health and Safety policies of all independent operators or contractors before they are engaged to operate for Going Places Ltd.


  • Have full safety authority while in, or travelling to the walks. Guide decisions regarding health and safety of clients while in their care are final
  • Pursue continuous improvements in Health and Safety performance of site evaluation
  • Systematically identify hazards and adequately assess and control risk to which self and others may be exposed
  • Develop and maintain a positive Health and Safety culture through communication and consultation with management
  • Use safe equipment and report on unsafe equipment
  • Record and report all harm and potential harm-causing incidents
  • Prevent accidents and cases of work related ill health.

5. Operational Risk Management Procedures

Staff experience, requirements and training Experience and qualifications required by guides are based on current outdoor industry standards. All guides have:

  • a minimum of 2 years experience in a full-time outdoor leadership role
  • formal risk management training by a recognised industry trainer.
  • relevant NZOIA Bush 1 & 2 skills or equivalent (as determined by an IQP)
  • a current St Johns first aid certificate ( or equivalent) and CPR training
  • a knowledge of natural history including geographic and climatic conditions
  • familiarity with the area to be guided.
  • food hygiene training
  • driver licences for the vehicles being driven
  • group management skills

Training of new guides takes place while acting as a second guide on their initial trips, working under the supervision of an experienced guide. During the trip they are trained on procedures for each walk. These include

  • weather forecasting and field interpretation
  • equipment safety
  • food preparation
  • alternative walks for bad weather
  • hazard identification and disclosure
  • leaving daily intentions with prearranged people e.g. the lodge where staying
  • timekeeping
  • incident and accident recording
  • safe driving practices
  • emergency procedures

Before the trip starts the guide will have read and understood the Safety Plan and be aware of the responsibilities they take on in the guide role.

Responsibilities of Staff

Management responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring all government, park regulations and environmental codes are followed
  • Ensuring there is no impediment to guides conducting safe trips
  • Maintaining all safety records and registers
  • Maintaining all equipment used in a safe condition
  • Organising and facilitating guide training
  • Recording all training and evaluating its effectiveness
  • Organising on a planned regular basis all emergency and rescue practices and analysing and recording the outcomes
  • Remaining up to date with new industry training requirements as the industry develops structure

Guide responsibilities include

  • awareness of weather and track conditions
  • knowledge of all relevant client information
  • safety of clients while on walks
  • all safety equipment is included on trips and upon return is replaced if used
  • accident site coordinator in case of an emergency
  • recording of any incidents and accidents and new hazards in the register
  • ensuring clients comply with the environmental code
  • leaving intentions for daily walks with the local accommodations, or with DOC

Guides have sole responsibility once a walk is underway. They operate within the standard operating procedures. Safety is primary to all walks and is not compromised by economic or other decisions.

Safety gear

Every guide carries

  • first aid kit (see appendix 1) [including medications and antihistamines]
  • first aid emergency instructions
  • ground insulation
  • body insulation
  • emergency shelter (flysheet) for patient(s)
  • survival blankets
  • spare hat and gloves, some extra clothing e.g. polypropylene or wool top and bottoms or emergency plastic raincoat.
  • snacks and water
  • sun cream and insect repellent
  • a map of the area
  • emergency communication device
  • a list of phone numbers to be used in an emergency
  • waterproof paper and pencil
  • a checklist for site safety

Pre Walk Assessment and Briefings

Information gathering and sharing occur between management, guides and clients to enable any potential hazards to be highlighted before a walk starts.

Guide gives a pre walk brief that includes:

  • the hazards of the terrain and environment are fully understood by clients
  • the duration and elevation gain of the walk
  • the environmental care code
  • the availability of first aid kit and map
  • suitable clothing and footwear
  • items necessary for clients to carry
  • how to use emergency equipment and what to do if guide is incapacitated

Clients are required to disclose (see Client questionnaire)

  • their physical condition
  • walking experience
  • prior medical conditions that may have a bearing on the walk safety

6. Hazard identification and standard procedures to manage them

Track Conditions – e.g. slips, fallen branches, snow, undercut banks,

Potential Harm - sprains, broken bones, head injury, death (very low severity to very high)

Hazard control – MINIMISE the risk by remaining up to date with track conditions and continually assessing the track while walking. Should the track become impassable, or the hazard cannot be minimised the group will turn back.

Surrounding Environment – e.g. rivers, grikes, bluffs, chasms.

Potential Harm - srains, broken bones, head injury, drowning, death (very low severity to very high severity)

Hazard control – MINIMISE the hazard. Clients are instructed to stay to the track, as well as being made aware that these features exist. Clients are advised not to cross a river without guide supervision or assistance.

Weather – e.g. hot sun, cold temperatures, heavy rain.

Potential Harm- sunburn, hyperthermia (very low severity to high severity)

Hazard Control – MINIMISE the hazard. Clients are instructed to carry sun cream, drinking water, snack food and extra suitable clothing dictated by the climate. Alternative plans are made should climatic conditions make walking too hazardous.

Client fitness and medical condition

Potential Harm – reoccurring injury, heart attack, allergic reaction, death (very low severity to very high severity)

Hazard Control – MINIMISE the hazard. Open and honest communication between the client and guide takes place to ensure a walk is suited to the clients. Clients take responsibility for a medical condition that is beyond the guide's ability to control/treat if they wish to participate on a walk. Clients bring any medication they should require. Alternative walks are available if required (e.g. wasp nuisance).

Guide Injury

Potential Harm – sprains, broken bones, head injury, death (very low severity to very high severity)

Hazard Control – MINIMISE the hazard. Guides walk in areas and conditions well within their ability at all times. Should the guide become injured the clients know where the first aid kit is and the communication device and map. Clients can follow the track back to get help. Being on popular tracks there is often other walkers on hand to help.

Road Safety and Motor Vehicle Accident

Potential Harm - broken bones, head injuries, multiple casualties, burns, death. (low severity to very high severity)

Hazard Control – MINIMISE the hazard. All drivers have the required licenses, drive defensively and keep to the road rules. New guides have driving training in May and Lee Limited vehicles including bus and trailer, so that they are familiar with vehicles before they take to the road. All vehicles carry a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and mobile phone, and passengers know the location.

Food Hygiene

Potential Harm – food poisoning (very low severity to moderate severity)

Hazard Control – MINIMISE the hazard. Where picnic lunches are provided, guides take such precautions as thorough hand washing before preparing and handling food. During food preparation guides avoid contaminating foods, for example paying attention to the use of cutting boards and knives. All picnic equipment is thoroughly washed and if possible sterilized by way of a dishwasher after each use.

Guide to Client Ratio Ratios are 7 clients to one guide, or 2 guides with a maximum of 16 clients

Equipment Maintenance

  • First aid kits are topped up immediately after use
  • Walking Sticks will be maintained and discarded if faulty
  • Picnic supplies washed, sterilised and stored every day
  • Vehicles – daily clean, oil, water, fuel and tyre check.
    • weekly windscreen fluid check
    • service every 5-8000 km
    • COF/WOF every six months

All daily/weekly checks of equipment and vehicles are recorded on the inspection schedule included in trip information pack.

Post trip debrief Guides and management discuss and record

  • any new hazards, incidents or accidents in the register
  • equipment that needs to be maintained or replaced
  • track conditions/concerns
  • vehicle / driving conditions or concerns

7. Incident (harm and non-harm) reporting, recording, investigation, analysis and resolution procedures and timelines

  • accident / incident reports are filled out immediately following the incident by the guide
  • guides inform Operation Managers of incidents / accidents as soon as possible.
  • discussion between the guides and Operation Managers, and external agencies if necessary, from investigations of the incident, results in action taken to best eliminate, isolate or minimise the hazard
  • the hazard is eliminated, isolated or minimized before the next walking group arrives.
  • all communication with the contracting company goes through the Operations Managers.

8. Accident safety of situation

1. Assess safety of situation

In the event of an accident or injury the guides’ primary responsibility is to ensure that any further harm or hazard to the injured person or others (including self) are eliminated, isolated, or minimised before further action is taken. If, for any reason the guide leaves the group (in the case where the guide goes for help) the guide ensures that the group safety is not being compromised and they have a clear understanding of the situation and what is expected.

2. Administer necessary first aid

The guide follows standard procedures set out by St Johns ambulance. This involves the critical action checks of assessing safety, airway, breathing, circulation, and damage to spine or muscular skeletal structure.

3. Stabilize Situation

The guide ensures the injured person and the rest of the group is warm and comfortable as possible while waiting for help or transporting the injured person to help.

4. Notifying Help

If additional help is needed, a person from the group (another guide or chosen client) notifies the correct people with what help is needed, the nature of the injury and location.

This is done by the chosen person retracing their steps along the track returning to the local accommodation where the group is staying or to the closest telephone. Further arrangements are made with lodge managers, or if the situation requires evacuation then the police are contacted to arrange the appropriate transportation. A spare key is left on all vehicles should someone need to drive for help.

The guide decides who is to be contacted and ensures that the information given to the chosen client is clear, concise and correct.

All patient information and timelines are recorded while waiting for help to arrive.

5. Debrief Guides fill out an accident report form (See Appendix 3) and discuss the incident, and the effectiveness of the management procedure with the Operations Managers. External expert consultant or agencies are bought in if necessary.

The outcome of the debrief is to

  • review the effectiveness emergency procedure
  • identify any problems or changes to be made in the safety plan for the future.
  • ensure all necessary people/agencies have been contacted
  • minimise any lasting effects the incident may have on involved parties.

9. Review of Safety Plan

Internal Going Places Ltd management continuously scrutinise the safety plan and review its procedures annually or after any accident or serious non-harm incident.

The review looks at the safety plans’ suitability to manage the new issue(s), and eliminate, isolate or minimise the new hazard(s). If necessary external advice is sought, as to how certain situations may better be managed.

The Safety Plan auditor authorises all significant changes to the Plan.

External Every 5 years, or earlier, if required by a statutory authority after any significant harm or non harm-causing incident.