Snowmobiles are used in two different ways in consumer services: in snowmobile safaris and snowmobile hire. Both the snowmobile safari service provider and the party hiring out the snowmobile are responsible for the safety of the customers. The safety requirements on snowmobile safaris are described in the following.
Documents in order
Draw up a safety document on the snowmobile safari. Take all stages of the service from guidance and getting ready to the end of the safari into account in the safety document.
Describe the routes used on safaris in the safety document so that the starting points, rescue sites, length, degree of difficulty and specific dangerous places of the routes in particular are described in sufficient detail. You can use maps to describe the routes.
The safety document also includes a description on how the routes are selected, and how the safety of the routes and the equipment is checked both at the start of the season and during it.
Identify the risks
You can use Tukes’ instructions and tools to identify risks. In identifying the risks of snowmobile services, also take at least the following issues into account:
- special features and hazards of the routes
- crossing of roads, water bodies, ski tracks and other routes, as well as intersections
- speed limits
- especially narrow or steep locations
- spots in especially bad condition
- especially long routes
- prohibited areas or directions of travel
- the customers’ competence and skill level
- experience in riding a snowmobile
- language skills and ability to understand instructions
- groups with varying skill levels and expectations
- hazards related to the gear and equipment
- technical faults
- operation of the emergency stop switch and speed limiter
- instruction in the use of the controls and possible fault situations
- mobile phone dead zones
- factors related to the conditions
- weather and road conditions
- snow and ice situation
- actions by outsiders (other snowmobile riders, skiers, pedestrians, animals)
- exceptional situations
- snowstorms or other rapid changes in weather
- a customer getting separated from the group
- accident or sudden illness
Providing information to consumers
The marketing material of the services must correspond to the activities offered as well as the safety requirements. For example, the snowmobile riders in advertising images must wear a helmet and other appropriate gear, and the images must not show any dangerous activities, such as snowmobile jumps.
Make sure that the customers are instructed sufficiently in the competence and equipment required for snowmobile safaris, as well as the operation and use of a snowmobile. Provide the participants with sufficient information about the safety of the safari. Based on the information, the customers themselves must be able to decide whether they want to or are able to participate in the safari or not.
Make sure that the customers participating in the safari are ready and able to ride a snowmobile before starting out. The customers must be able to control the snowmobile in all situations that may occur on the route, and the customers must know the basic rules of snowmobiling, the hand signals and the safety instructions. A safe practice area should be established for orientation and riding practice. After orientation, check to make sure that all customers want to participate in the safari.