Land Development Engineering

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  • 1.  Working alone

    Posted 25-11-2015 15:28

    Hi.    I was hoping you may be able to share any 'working alone' policies or procedures you may have. We are drafting a policy to provide guidance to our staff to ensure they are safe and accounted for when they leave the office alone to carry out site visits. I am keen for it to also be practical not over the top, and useful. So am very keen to find out practises you or others may be using.

    Appreciate any feedback and discussion.



    Glenn Broadbent
    Auckland Council

  • 2.  RE: Working alone

    Posted 26-11-2015 15:16

    Hi Glenn,

    My Team and I are currently going through the same process. Members of our team will often work alone in high risk bush fire zones, where mobile phone reception is also minimal to non existent. We haven't got a formal policy in place yet, but it is a major priority as Summer approaches so I am very interested to see what people have to say.

    Currently it is expected that team members check the CFA website for fire warnings and limit trips to certain areas depending on the weather. We also ensure that people update their calendars to reflect where they are going and when they are due back and to personally notify another team member. 

    There is no perfect plan, but there is definitely measures that can be put in place to minimize risk when working alone.

    I look forward to reading what others have to say.



    Nicolas Fyfield
    Yarra Ranges Council


  • 3.  RE: Working alone

    Posted 01-12-2015 12:13

    As part of our SWMS we have a section for remote/isolated works we apply the following to mitigate potential issues.

    Pre-plan work with direct supervisor. Advise supervisor of your expected movements and job tasks.

    Keep mobile phone / satellite phone (where no reception available) with you at all times.

    Ensure that the "nominated contact" is aware of the inspection program.

    If not back by expected time the "nominated contact" is to try & contact the person & if unsuccessful they are to take further action as appropriate to contact/ locate the person

    Adam Mularczyk
    Team Co-ordinator Development Engineering
    Wyong Shire Council


  • 4.  RE: Working alone

    Posted 01-12-2015 12:14


    We are a small civil engineering consulting firm based in Toowoomba, and we visit remote sites across Queensland.  Our policy is to make use of the Spot Tracker service which is satellite based, and which not only tracks location, but also enables an SMS check in on arrival at a destination as well as two other pre-programmed SMS emergency messages to be sent.  We have found this to be a cost-effective and practical solution for our operation.

    Geoff Thompson
    Thompson Consulting Engineers


  • 5.  RE: Working alone

    Posted 26-11-2015 15:59
      |   view attached


    Mildura Rural City Council has a "Staff Working Alone or in Isolated Areas Procedure" which I have attached.

    It addresses not only staff working in remote areas of the shire but also staff who may work at a depot alone all of the day.

    Ken Conrick
    Asset Management Team Leader
    Mildura Rural City Council


  • 6.  RE: Working alone

    Posted 27-11-2015 09:41

    G day

    I used to drive trucks for a living in remote areas, I would think that basics such as a communication system whether 2 way, mobile phone would be sufficient in the metro area, obviously EPIRBS and satellite phones for very remote areas, the main thing is to have a list of appropriate contact numbers and a log in log out system to monitor staff, I would keep it as simple as possible, I have seen over complicated tracking systems that no one pays much attention to, my reply is simplistic but hope it helps


    Gil Wainwright
    self employed
    Perth WAau


  • 7.  RE: Working alone

    Posted 01-12-2015 12:14

    Hi there. For out of office visits which are pre-arranged or impromptu, we set these up in our outlook calendars with the subject, expected duration and location (required fields). We make sure that key staff such as our supervisor and others have access to our calendar's so if we go awol, they at least have an  idea of our movements. Most of ours are for resource consent applications so I usually quote the RC number in the subject title as well. Always take the cellphone of course. Cheers from Western Bay DC

    Kenneth Lawton
    Western Bay of Plenty District Council


  • 8.  RE: Working alone

    Posted 27-11-2015 09:43
      |   view attached

    Hi Glenn

    We worked on a simple Lone Working Policy 12 months ago to ensure staff were as safe as possible on site.  We are a consulting firm so didn't need anything too elaborate.  When staff are out of cell phone coverage and don't have a PLB, then they carry a with them.  Hopefully some of the contents in here will be of help for you.

    Angela Hunt
    National Quality Assurance Manager
    Calibre Consulting Ltd