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-Carola Mittag
My trip to Australia is rapidly approaching. It was booked back in January, giving me a full ten months to prepare. With each month my excitant has grown even as I thought “hey, I’ve got lots of time to prepare”.

What does it take to prepare for a trip halfway around the world?

  • Booking travel tickets ✓
  • Getting adequate travel and cancellation insurance ✓
  • Valid passport ✓
  • Proof of vaccination ✓
  • Arranging accommodations ✓
  • Ensuring medications are sufficient ✓
  • Electricity adaptor ✓
  • Cell phone usage internationally ✓
  • Arranging for pet care ✓
  • Arranging for house and plant care ✓
  • Arranging transportation to and from the airport ✓
  • Ensuring correct currency for the destination ✓
  • Planning a wardrobe for all types of weather and activities ✓
  • Mapping out itineraries so as not to waste precious time while away ✓
  • Leaving instructions in case of a catastrophic occurrence abroad ✓
  • Finally, confirming final flight and stopover times ✓

Some of these things are quickly achieved while others require forethought and a significant amount of time to get them right. And they can’t all be done without assistance and the help of experienced travel agents, professional advisors and, if you’re lucky, friends who have far more experience with international travel than me.

This is of course similar to planning for and preparing workplaces to be safe environments for workers. Much thought and organizing goes into getting it right. At a tradeshow years ago, I asked a machine shop owner/delegate what he did to prepare his workers to be safe. He told them to work safe. Period. I asked for more specific things he did for the workers; his response was the same, with the added comment “if they get hurt I’ll just hire someone new”. Now this did occur many years ago and I can only hope this owner has since retired or sold his business to a person with more foresight and sense of responsibility.

Each jobsite, each work assignment and each piece of equipment must be evaluated for potential risks and hazards. Risk being the possibility that something bad or unpleasant (such as injury or a loss) will happen, while a hazard is a potential source of harm or danger (danger is something that may cause injury or harm). And, each worker must be specifically prepared (trained) to be safe at any given jobsite, on the equipment they are being asked to use and to be told about the risks and hazards of the job they are being asked to do. This all takes massive preparation.

Often it is difficult for people close to a situation, or who have done the same job for a long time to objectively assess requirements or to understand legal obligations. Preparation is key and may require the assistance of an outside resource. MENTOR SAFETY wants to be that outside resource, whether to help you build your health and safety culture program and policy development from the ground up or simply to reassure you that, should a Ministry Inspector appear unexpectedly on your doorstep, you can confidently show him/her around your facility and produce all the training documents you are sure to be asked for.

Being prepared to the best of one’s ability is paramount. Procrastination increases the chances of something being missed or going wrong.

I tend to be that procrastinator; however, I now have most of the items checked off of my travel to-do list with a few weeks to spare. Let the adventure begin!



Watch for next month’s Blog published in the second week of November


Carola Mittag

Consultant and Editor for Mentor Safety Consultants Inc.