Duty of care communication and training

When addressing safety and security for travellers, many companies tend to focus only on the obvious risks and threats – natural disasters, terror attacks and kidnapping. It’s also important to consider incidents such as medical emergencies or accidents while travelling and the everyday risk of illness.

In a recent article looking at duty of care, Sam Davies, regional security manager, Australasia, for global travel security provider International SOS, told Skyft: “In our experience, most people’s understanding of risk is closely aligned with what is in the news, so topics like terrorism and war are regularly the issues of highest concern. In reality, 1,25 million people die every year in road traffic accidents, and many more are injured. Similarly, natural disasters affect a large number of people every year, including business and leisure travellers, but this serious risk is rarely considered by travellers or organisations,” he said.

While the risks may vary from place to place, communication, support, and training are essential when it comes to equipping travellers with the information they need to remain safe while away on business. “From day one, our commitment to risk management and giving our clients critical safety support has been at the core of our operations due to the nature of our clients’ complex and often hazardous travel needs,” says Frank Palapies, COO, Africa, Middle East and Brazil, of Wings Travel Management.

Palapies’ UK/Europe and Americas counterpart at Wings Travel Management, Paul East, adds: “Communication is the key to keeping your travellers at the centre of the information loop. By agreeing and establishing an on-going travel risk management dialogue, you can raise awareness and significantly mitigate your risk for many of the issues travellers may face.  Ensure your travellers have as much information as possible and that they are knowledgeable about any ‘risks’ that might arise during a particular journey.”

Anneline Booyse-Mofokeng, Security Director, Africa, at International SOS and Control Risks agrees. “Duty-of-care training modules should be compulsory and not optional for staff.” She adds that compliance with a company’s duty-of-care policies can be increased through rewards and engagement. “Reward staff for compliance, [and] when there is an incident, share it with staff and ensure that lessons learned are discussed at a town hall (let staff share their stories/incidents/near-miss incidents). Staff respond differently when it happened to ‘one of us’. Make travel security part of everyday events, such as having outreach day, HR days, etc.”

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