Risk assessments and BS8848
British Standard 8848 has been designed to help operators like The Mountain Company run safer adventurous trips outside of the UK. This standard places a greater emphasis on planning and risk assessment, it also details good practice to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone joining a trip.
BS8848 requires participants to be given clear information so that they can make informed decisions about risks to their own safety. It also ensures that more information is provided to the participants about their responsibilities on the trip.
As a result of our implementation of this standard The Mountain Company has implemented a number of practical changes to our procedures, as listed below:
- review of itineraries to ensure sufficient time for acclimatisation to high altitude i.e by following Wilderness Medical Society Consensus Guidelines for prevention of Acute Altitude Illness.
- summary of our trip risk assessments for public view i.e published on our website in each Trip Dossier under see Threat and Risk Assessment paragraph.
- development of standard operating procedures (SOP) for Communications (we send a Thuraya satellite phone on all of our treks in Nepal, Pakistan and Bhutan); Medical; Health & Hygiene and Group Management.
- organised training for our trek guides in Nepal and Bhutan on how to follow our SOPs.
- enhanced pre trip screening of trekkers (experience, fitness and health) to ensure the trip is a reasonable objective for that person.
- professional weather forecasts from everestweather.com and in house forecasting throughout the trekking seasons in Nepal, Bhutan, India and Pakistan.
- contingency and emergency planning
At The Mountain Company we have always taken the safety of our groups very seriously and we have reviewed all of our trips to ensure compliance with BS8848.
Of course with treks and expeditions in remote places like the Himalaya there will always be a certain amount of inherent risk although by careful and detailed planning this can be reduced to an acceptable level.
Please carefully read about the uncertainty of Adventure Travel in our Choosing Your Holiday section of our Information Centre.
For more information on you can download the BSI Consumer guide to BS8848