Health and Safety Policy
At the point of booking, Earth’s Edge asks all participants to read and agree to our booking conditions. Earth’s Edge requires all participants to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. This includes taking instruction from the Expedition Leader and treating all team members with respect. If a participant’s behaviour is deemed to be detrimental to the health and safety of themselves or others, they may be asked to leave the expedition at their own expense.
Information and advice before you go
Earth’s Edge will:
- Provide all relevant health and safety information to participants before they travel on their expedition.
- Advise staff and participants to contact their GP’s for immunisations and a full medical screening prior to travelling.
- Provide detailed kit lists and equipment information relevant to the expedition.
- Explain various environments to be visited, with respect to safety, local politics, culture, etiquette and social responsibility.
- Direct participants to the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) website for up-to-date travel advice.
- Provide pre-departure weekends two months prior to all expeditions in order to assess all team members’ fitness levels. Participants are provided with an extensive briefing on preparation.
- Earth’s Edge only recruit Expedition Leaders who hold the relevant qualifications and experience to look after our participants to a high standard.
- We only use Expedition Medics who are qualified Doctors and have the necessary skills to look after our participants to a high standard.
- Local operators and local staff are subject to a rigorous tendering process which involves extensive background checks and a review of their operation.
- Our office staff are all highly qualified and boast many years of customer service and operations experience between them. They each take part in at least one Earth’s Edge expedition a year in order to familiarise themselves with the product and ensure that the company are doing all they can to keep our participants safe.
When you arrive
- Your Expedition Leader will have all expedition documentation including contingency plans, evacuation procedures, risk assessments, day by day routes/ itineraries, participant information, and emergency contact details.
- We will do a gear check with all participants and ensure that they are fully equipped before they get on the trail.
Earth’s Edge always:
- Produces detailed RAMS (Risk Assessment Management System) documents for each expedition. RAMS is a useful tool which helps us to systematically identify potential hazards and to take measures to reduce and/or manage the risks.
- Ensures that Expedition Leaders review the risk assessments prior to each expedition.
- Continually updates and evaluates the RAMS documents.
- Ensures that we have completed detailed research and/or a recce in all new destinations.
During your Expedition
- We ensure trekking teams are equipped with reliable methods of communication with local sim cards, radios and/or satellite phones.
- Our expedition doctor has a fully stocked medical kit and that a designated member of local staff is assigned to carry the medical kit and stay close by at all times.
- Expedition Leaders have all necessary safety equipment for the activity such as a portable altitude chamber, ropes, and maps.
- We make sure that you understand the risks associated with activities and ensure that all safety procedures are carried out to the highest standard.
- Our Leaders will hold daily safety briefings and will notify participants of any hazards and how to deal with them.
- National park codes of conduct, mountain safety codes of practice and local laws and guidelines are all strictly adhered to.
- While camping, we insist on extremely high levels of hygiene from all team members including participants and staff.
- Only water that has been boiled/treated is used for all cooking and washing on our trips.
Evacuation and Emergency
Earth’s Edge ensures that
- There are adequate communication methods available and that they have access to contacts who will help in an emergency situation.
- All staff members are fully aware of the proximity of the nearest and best medical facilities.
- Participants get contact details for their Expedition Leader.
- All staff are competent in dealing with an evacuation situation.
- Staff keep comprehensive records of all incidents, accidents and emergencies through an Incident Report Form.
- Post-incident evaluations are carried out to improve on procedures for the future.
- Expedition staff on the ground keep the 24/7 emergency contact person in our Dublin office updated at all times.
Earth’s Edge encourages all participants to pass on our 24/7 emergency contact number to their next of kin so that in the event of an emergency at home in Ireland, Earth’s Edge will be able to inform participants promptly.
Earth’s Edge Child Protection Policy
All young people within an Earth’s Edge expedition, regardless of age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious beliefs or sexual identity have the right to be protected.
We believe that taking part in an Earth’s Edge expedition is a positive and enjoyable experience for a young person. To ensure all young participants achieve this Earth’s Edge promises to:
- Ensure that all expedition leaders and doctors undertake a Garda vetting procedure. The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 provides a statutory basis for the vetting of persons carrying out relevant work with children or vulnerable persons.
- Obtain medical declaration forms from all minors which will be co-signed by a parent/guardian. Medical details will only be shared with appropriate members of staff.
- Only employ expedition leaders and doctors that are fully qualified and experienced for their role.
- Obtain parental/ guardianship consent for all minors wishing to partake in an Earth’s Edge expedition.
- Conduct a full risk assessment of all elements of the expedition with special consideration for underage participants.
- Include parents/guardians in all correspondence with minors and will ensure they are properly briefed on all details of the expedition.
- Ensure that there are appropriate staff – participant ratios with regard to numbers and gender.
Our commitment to our young clients
Earth’s Edge is committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of its participants. We foster a climate of respect and understanding for the rights, safety and welfare of young people. We are committed policies and procedures to ensure that everyone knows and accepts their responsibility in relation to a duty of care for young people.
We make sure that
- All Earth’s Edge staff, teachers and accompanying parents/ guardians will understand and be supported in their role and responsibility with regard to the duty of care for young people while on an expedition.
- All suspicions and allegations will be taken seriously, managed and dealt with swiftly and appropriately.
- Earth’s Edge reviews this policy annually.