Welcome to our safety page. Here you will find sections about our people, the Earth’s Edge way and your peace of mind. You can also read our health and safety policy and our child projection policy.
Expedition Leaders; A highly experienced expedition leader from Ireland or the UK lead each of our expeditions. This ensures we consistently deliver professionally run expeditions each and every time. They will be there to offer you expert advice throughout your trip, solve any issues that arise and give you every chance of achieving your goals. To read more about our expedition leaders click here.
Expedition Doctors; An expedition doctor from Ireland or the UK accompany each expedition to provide industry leading medical support. Should you fall ill or have an injury they will be there to provide immediate medical care. To read more about our expedition doctors click here.
Local Guides; Along with our expedition leaders and doctors we use experienced local guides on all expeditions. This allows us to marry local knowledge with the expertise of our expedition leaders and doctors. Our local guides are usually from the areas they work in and are very well connected with local service providers such as accommodation and transport companies.
Support Staff; Behind the scenes of every expedition are the men and women who do the hard work to ensure everything runs smoothly. Our porters, Sherpas, cooks and horsemen are there to make sure you have the most amazing experience with them. Their collective passion for making your experience an exceptional one no matter where you are in the world, is phenomenal. We are proud to work with some of the most experienced and talented people in the world.
Office Team; Everyone working in our HQ in Dublin is highly trained and more importantly passionate about making your experience a special one. They each travel on one expedition a year and also enjoy spending their spare time in the mountains in Ireland. They are there to answer any question you have and also plan every small detail of your expedition to perfection.
The Earth’s Edge Way
Meticulous Planning; All expeditions are planned in detail from our office in Dublin, going through a rigorous management process to ensure every small detail is considered and nothing is left to chance. Our custom-made event management system means our office team checks and rechecks all the essential logistics as we get closer to departure.
Risk Management; Detailed risk assessment and management systems, including evacuation plans, are put in place for each expedition.
24/7 Support; Our team in Dublin provide 24/7 phone support to each expedition. In the event of bad weather resulting in flights or other logistics needing to be changed we are there to support our expedition leaders. Experienced doctors are also on call to support our expedition doctors no matter where they are in the world.
Pre-departure Training; Two months prior to each expedition we run training weekends in Wicklow, Ireland. Our expedition leaders and doctors are on hand to deliver a full expedition brief, lead two training hikes and offer expert advice. Attending these events makes a huge difference to your preparation, readiness and ultimately your success on your expedition.
Your Medical History; We collect information about your medical history and a signed consent form from your doctor. It is essential that our expedition doctor get access to your medical history prior to departure to ensure any illnesses or conditions can be managed during the expedition and they can provide you with the best possible care.
Equipment; Every destination is unique, requiring different equipment but our expedition leaders have the following available to them; Satellite phones, radios, group shelters, pulse oximeters and portable altitude chambers. Supplying our expedition doctors with all the equipment and medication they need is vital for your safety. Each of our doctors has a 14kg med kit with equipment and medication to cover all conceivable eventualities.
Logistics; We provide quality food, accommodation and transportation on all expeditions. We know your happiness and expedition success is closely related to the quality of food you eat and the amount of sleep you get.
Group Sizes; Small groups are important to ensure our expedition leaders and doctors can provide each and everyone of you with the care you need. Our maximum group size on most expeditions is 16 and our average group size is 13. On more challenging peaks our maximum group size is 12 and our average is 8. This ensures we have proper leader: client ratios but also results in our teams having a stronger group dynamic and minimises our environmental impact.
YOUR PEACE OF MIND
Your Financial Protection; Earth’s Edge is fully licensed by the Commission for Aviation Regulation (TA: 0711) and has a financial failure bond in place. This means your money is fully protected.
Insurance; We have public liability and professional indemnity insurance in place. It is your responsibility to have adequate travel insurance in place. We currently recommend Campbell Irvine who provide a very robust policy designed for adventure travellers.
Travel Trade; Earth’s Edge is a member of the Irish Travel Agents Association and Adventure Travel Trade Association.
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 training 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 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.