Guidance about travelling for work

On 31 March 2022, the Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws replaced the health and safety elements of the Mines Safety and Inspection laws. For information visit

All health and safety notifications, forms and guidance for mining and petroleum has moved to the WorkSafe website

What can be involved in travelling for work?

The isolated locations of some mines and exploration leases can mean long commute distances for workers to reach their destination to start work. Some workers travel from interstate or even overseas.

Upon arrival at site, a worker’s duties can then involve travel:

  • near a mine
  • between a camp and mine infrastructure
  • in brownfield and greenfield exploration situations.

Being fit for work

There are a number of factors that contribute to fitness for work. With travel, fatigue plays a major role and can be pre-existing (e.g. poor sleep before flying in) or brought on by the environment (e.g. hot day) or task repetitiveness (e.g. 6 hour drive).

Find out about What is fitness for work? and related topics in the Resources section.

Being prepared

Regardless of distance to be travelled, vehicles should be checked regularly (e.g. pre-start checks) and assessed as fit for purpose before leaving. The vehicle should be appropriate for the terrain and task, as should be the worker’s skill level. It should also be equipped to deal with the hazards presented (e.g. ‘bog boards’ and winches, and the occupants trained in their use).

There should be sufficient water and food for the number of occupants, especially when working in remote locations.
The vehicle and occupants should have communications devices that are appropriate for use in the area being travelled (e.g. two-way radio, satellite phone, mobile phone). Communication may be required with the site or camp, as well as between vehicles or work groups.

Prospecting in remote areas - pamphlet - 834 Kb

This pamphlet is a guide on planning your prospecting trip in Western Australia.

Prospecting in Western Australia - 2987 Kb

A reference guide providing visiting prospectors with a summary of their rights and obligations.

Travelling in remote locations - mine safety matters pamphlet - 838 Kb

This mine safety matters pamphlet contains information on the hazards and recommended safe work practices when travelling in remote locations.

Knowing the environment

Western Australia’s harsh conditions can mean extremes in temperature, brief storms, cyclones and other extreme weather events. These can impact significantly on travel plans.

Drive to conditions

For further information on weather conditions, visit Working in remote areas.

Be aware of road and track uses, and identify possible hazards before leaving to mitigate the risk. For example, will travel be on gazetted roads only or include passing through a mining area, or over a farm or pastoral lease, or crossing creeks or railways?

Railway crossings - mine safety matters pamphlet - 2902 Kb

This mine safety matters pamphlet contains information on the hazards and recommended safe work practices for railway crossings.

For further information, go to Guidance about traffic management

Emergency plans

It is important to have an emergency plan in place so people can respond appropriately if something goes wrong.

The travel plan is a critical piece of information, and includes the proposed route and travel times.

See part 2 and 3 of Mineral exploration drilling - code of practice below for some hazards related to travel and emergency management respectively.

Mineral exploration drilling - code of practice - 11231 Kb

Mineral exploration drilling - code of practice: This code is a practical guide to assist those involved in mineral exploration to develop and implement safe systems of work for drilling operations, particularly in remote areas.