With remote and isolated sites, comes with it a specialised security and risk management expertise, more akin to being the mayor of a town/city than that of a functional business leader. There are a lot of elements and factors you need to be aware of, engage in and influencing when it comes to remote sites.

Community and social licence to operate is one of the top aspects to consider. It doesn’t matter how remote or sparely populated your remote site is now or in the beginning, at some point, there will be a growing local community within vicinity [or even on your doorstep] at some point on the future. Be prepared!

Build it…..and they WILL come.

Ingress/Egress of your site will quickly or eventually be the currency in which you measure your daily operational capability. Can you get goods, services and people in/out of where you work? This may sound pretty simple but even the most remote and unsophisticated communities will quickly discover that your only way in/out is via a single road or limited array of transport options and progressively except direct and indirect pressure on your ability to access and use these finite infrastructure channels. You may even end up paying for the privilege to use roads and infrastructure that you built as there was nothing there before. Seems counterintuitive but very logical to those that now inhabit a location where they can observe just how essential or frequently you use daily access/egress routes.

Industry and regulatory influence comes at every stage of your operations. Even if you are pioneer in your industry or the first of you kind to operate in the area or country, regulation and ‘government sharing’ will quickly follow. The worst scenario is when your site becomes the first to undergo the inevitable experimentation and profiteering associated with industry and regulatory influence from both local and national government bodies.

Royalties or profit sharing issues arrive at some point. Your wealth and success, is now the “communities success” and therefore should be distributed. If your business operates in the public space, and you announce/publish profitability, it will be seen by selected parties and they will use this knowledge as a basis for their target settlement fee/rate. Even if you attempt to keep this knowledge in-house, it will still leak to local/regional sources and/or expansion or development works at any stage will be seen as a sign of ‘making more money’….therefore it is time to share. Companies that have active Corporate Social Responsibility [CSR] programs are not immune to this issue either, if anything, over time, your own system and good will be leveraged against you by those seeking a greater slice of the returns.

Local labor and preferential relationships will at some point dominate your weekly management agenda. Do you have the “right” mix of local and non-local hires? Do you have the “right” people, family alliances or influential people on your payroll? if you let the pendulum swing too far on this, the minority groups become the majority disruption source and potentially the majority benefactors seek to claim even greater favour and reward.

Security providers/resources will make or break your ability to conduct daily operations on remote sites. Get it wrong an you add yet another complexity and issue to deal with on a daily basis or disrupt operations….get it right and you enjoy greater profitably, stability and operational/business confidence. Beware what CHEAP really buys you!

Security and risk management/leadership is how you get things done. If you have the wrong people, talents, capabilities or experience, then you have contributed some of the ingredients for failure of your own accord. If you get it right….security and risk management becomes as profitable and beneficial to the business as any other key operational department/asset.

Remote sites need effective and advanced security/risk management! A failure to accept this will result in preventable losses, risk to schedule, diminished variance on return or even emergency situations such as demonstrations, down time, violence and even loss of life. it is much more costly to acknowledge this after the fact and try and rectify a worsening situation….than plan and implement in advance. The cost variance can be as high as 100 to 1. These are just a very small sample of the type of security and risk management elements businesses must consider when engaged in remote sites.

Tony Ridley

Travel Safety Experts
Travel Safety Experts

Travel health, safety, security and risk management experts