Every week, companies in the energy, mining and marine sectors coordinate the movement of thousands of workers from their homes to mine sites or offshore rigs. Travel schedules are incredibly demanding for many within the resources sector, particularly fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workers, who will travel anywhere from eight to 24 hours, including multiple transfers, just to get to work. With this in mind, technology that supports traveller safety and delivers greater peace of mind for staff on the road should be considered seriously.

A survey of over 100 leaders at Australian resources companies, carried out by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), has revealed that the majority of senior managers think improvements in technology are enabling safer outcomes for workers, but that those technologies were not being adopted fast enough.

Considering current conditions globally, 46 percent of respondents also reported being less confident about conducting international business travel due to recent global terrorism, disruptions and threats. Despite this, almost half reported that their company’s travel procedures haven’t changed in recent years. A further 40 percent thought their company should invest further in mechanisms for supporting traveller safety while they travel.

In an example of how technology is being used to provide smart traveller support within the resources sector for FIFO workers, American Express GBT’s travel disruption solution, EXPERT CARE, helps locate workers using a variety of mechanisms so that evacuation can proceed as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency. Through partnerships with some workforce logistic providers, the technology doesn’t just locate workers to their last transit airport, but also will indicate if they are on route to or from the worksite.

End-to-end, real-time visibility of workers is highly valuable when an evacuation is required. During 2016, when extreme flooding affected North Western Australia, an American Express GBT customer was able to see where all workers were on their journey to and from their mining sites. The solution also had the capability to send a notification to workers, which, when accepted, enabled temporary GPS location monitoring, meaning evacuations could be managed quickly and simply.

Key findings from the American Express GBT Australian resources sector survey included:

 

    • 57% of respondents believe safety has become a greater priority for the sector over the last year

 

    • 69% of senior managers working at Australian resources companies think improvements in technology are enabling safer outcomes for workers

 

    • 65% were either unsure about adoption or did not think these technologies were being adopted fast enough

 

    • 46% said they are less confident about conducting international business travel due to recent global terrorism, disruptions and threats

 

    • 47% reported that their company’s travel procedures haven’t changed in recent years

 

    • 40% thought their company should invest further in mechanisms for supporting traveller safety while they travel

 

    • 53% thought technology that improves visibility of the traveller journey from home to site will improve safety outcomes

 

  • 67% said there should be a single process to manage rosters and site travel across all of their company’s assets.