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Safety plans

isklifurTourism service providers wanting to provide quality services must focus on safety. The compilation of safety plans is a key aspect in that regard. According to Act No. 96/2018 on the Icelandic Tourist Board, anyone intending to perform organized tours within Icelandic territory must have safety plans for their tours. Agents that resell tours that are performed by others must verify that safety plans are in place for those tours.

Safety plans consist of the following four parts; risk assessment, rules on work procedures, contingency plan and incident report. Below is a description of each part accompanied by forms that may be used as guidelines when preparing safety plans. It should be kept in mind, however, that safety plans need continuous reviewing and updating, particularly in light of experience.

Risk assessment

Risk assessments involve assessing potential risks associated with performing tours. An assessment is made as to what risks are at hand for each type of tour, how likely it is that those will lead to accidents or mishaps, when and where these could occur and who might be involved.

Form for preparation of risk assessments

Rules on work procedures

Rules on work procedures are based on risk assessments and are a part of the preventative measures taken. These are intended to prevent, minimize or eliminate the risks defined in the risk assessment. Rules on work procedures should contain information on the experience, knowledge and expertise of employees, the number of customers per employee, what information should be provided to customers, equipment and telecommunications.

Example of rules of procedures (pdf)

Contingency plan

Contingency plans take account of risk assessments and describe how to respond in the event of a mishaps. They are, among other things, intended to minimise the consequences of accidents and mishaps. It is important that the response plan is uncomplicated and clear.
Rules on work procedures and contingency plan could, for example, be printed on the front and back page of a single sheet that guides carry with them on all tours.

Example of Contingency plan

Incident report

An incident report is a detailed report about incidents; it includes information such as a description of the incident, what action was taken, who was involved and who witnessed the incident. Incident reports are indispensable when safety plans are revised with the intention of learning from incidents that have occurred.

Form for incident report (pdf)

Where to submit safety plans?

• The Icelandic Tourist Board can at any time ask for safety plans. 

• Safety plans are not submitted with license applications.

Suggestions and practical advice

  • Preparing safety plans is an integral part of providing quality services.
  • It is important to record ALL incidents that occur and are outside the norm. Near accidents must also be recorded.
  • Safety plans are to be in writing in both Icelandic and English.
  • Agents reselling tours must verify that companies performing the tours have safety plans.
  • Various engineering and consulting companies offer assistance in the preparation of safety plans.
  • The Icelandic Tourist Board is authorised by law to impose per diem fines on companies that do not fulfil the conditions established by law. The amount of per diem fines can be from ISK 50,000 to ISK 500,000.
  • Safety plans must be revised on a regular basis (at least once a year or after an accident / mishap / incident / near accident) and new plans prepared when new types of tours are planned.
  • The website Vakinn – the official quality and environmental system for Icelandic tourism – contains detailed information on the preparation of safety plans (see here).


Checklists for Compiling and Reviewing Safety Plans

Here are some checklists for that can be useful when compiling and reviewing safety plans. Many of the items listed are general and common to most activities and tours so the lists can be used even though the activity in question is not the same as the name on the list implies. For instance, checklists for jeep-, snowmobile- and ATV tours are combined into one list. The checklists are available in both in Word and PDF format.

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