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From Jungle to Desert – The Life of a Remote Worker

The challenge for most of us on our way to work is how quickly we grab our morning coffee. For Wallis Drilling, it’s dealing with extreme weather conditions and working in the mountainous ranges of South America, the jungle of Africa and remote deserts of Western Australia. Setting up drilling rigs for mining clients, even in the most challenging environments is what Wallis Drilling and their travelling team of 230 people do best.

The geographical remoteness of their drill sites and the uncertain road conditions is a significant risk that the company takes seriously. Considering the size of their drill equipment, and the frequency in which they drive, driving continues to be one of the highest risk activities that their remote workers encounter. Driver and road safety remains a serious worry given that in 2016, 1,300 people died on Australian roads.

Monitoring risks and ensuring safety standards are met, are not only requirements set by Wallis Drilling but also their clients. One client stipulated that all Wallis Drilling team members working on their exploration sites were required to use a system that enabled their team to check-in their safe whereabouts. This system was JESI.

The executive team resolved to explore JESI further as team members commented how easy the system was to use in comparison to their existing process.

Safety Precedence

Taking a holistic approach, Wallis Drilling looked at their entire fatigue, driver and journey management process to ensure they were doing everything they could to keep their travelling and remote workers safe. Safety is number one priority however the ability to improve efficiency and become paperless, especially out in the field is precedence set by the company.

Wallis Drilling, like most service companies, operates  24 hours a day 7 days a week, with projects and journeys starting and finishing at any time of the day. This often requires front line supervisors and senior management to work additional hours to ensure employees leave and arrive safely at all times of the day and night. This need has now been eliminated and managers are only alerted by exception when an employee does not check-in at a designated post.

Remote Worker Trial

The Iron Ore division of Wallis Drilling Australia, trialed JESI and quickly became JESI champions. This team of champions  assisted training safety advisors to troubleshoot the system before rolling out to the entire company. Key employees were sent to each of the rigs to help with training, however after a quick 15 minute toolbox meeting, staff quickly understood the system and now use JESI with minimal impact to their daily duties. New employees are introduced to JESI during their induction process and in fact Wallis Drilling have logged 7,172 hours of journey time and 4,195 journeys since April 2015, with management receiving less than 2% missed check-in notifications.

The company has found the ability to modify a journey easily, enables drivers to quickly update their travel details if a delay occurs. For instance, if a vehicle has a flat tyre and delays the journey by 30 minutes, the employee undertaking the journey can make the adjustment themselves. Anyone monitoring the journey can see the change and why the change was made.

Compliance Audit History

Chris Verran, HSE and Business Services Managers says “JESI is very easy to self-administer and the fact the system is fully auditable is essential. We can see a complete audit history of incidents and delays within the system”.


“JESI has reduced duplication in our process, eliminated the need for a call-in process and allows our supervisors to save approximately two hours per week (104 hours per year) to focus on other key areas of the business”.

Some clients request proof that journey management is being undertaken and JESI provides this proof quickly and easily, generating a high level of compliance for the company. Protecting remote workers no matter where in the world they are working is important to Wallis Drilling.

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