The significance of having a travel security plan for employees who travel overseas

The significance of having a travel security plan for employees who travel overseas

Certain destinations visited by business travelers are highly risky in terms of security and safety viewpoint. It’s therefore essential that organizations have contingency plans in to protect employees in the event they are vulnerable to dangers and risks in a foreign location and require assistance from their employers to safely return home.

Risks and dangers

The field of emergency management defines three types of hazards which pose a threat to human life. Natural hazards include unavoidable events of nature, such as earthquakes, wildfires, and floods. Technological hazards include incidents or failures of infrastructure systems that could result in incidents such as rail derailment, radioactive releases and power failures. Human-caused threats include intentional actions such as military operations as well as terrorism, civil unrest and other violent incidents.

All of these risks and threats could cause problems or interruptions to travelling employees who might not have the necessary resources at disposal or the expertise about how to respond to these situations.

Business travelers who are unaware of the risks in their area could be at risk of injury. (Shutterstock)

Travelers who have not been properly informed on local risks, like they could be more susceptible to being raped in a hotel that is not vetted or requesting a taxi in the wrong area of town. A major disruption to an airline could leave travelers trapped without a way of leaving the country and, consequently, at risk of being a victim of further dangers.

In any case in either case, the employer’s company should have contingency plans, as in a framework for managing crises in order to handle the increasing risks associated with international travel.

Care and duty

It is well-established in the common legislation that companies are obliged to provide diligence towards their workers with respect to providing their security and safety when they are engaged in business-related activities. The duty of care obligation extends to international borders if employees have to travel for work.

A precedent-setting duty of care case took place in Australia in the year 2000, when an employee traveled across Papua New Guinea to visit an acquaintance and was assaulted by a burglar during a business trip. A Australian court decided that the company was negligent in the discharge of its duty in failing to offer the proper security-awareness education for employees on local crime patterns and ways to reduce the risk accordingly.

Organisations can minimize the risk of liability they face and also increase the scope of their duty of care requirements by implementing a comprehensive travel security program that includes approvals and constant surveillance of the international environment in place.

A few of the most effective practices for the corporate travel security program are:

1.) An insurance plan that is approved by management.

2.) The appointment of a specific job task that is responsible for travel security

3.) The creation, communication and periodic updates to this travel policy and

4.) The introduction of a program for managing travel to monitor employees’ travel and the global situation in real-time.

There are now companies providing services to keep track of the movement of employees in high-risk locations and also provide apps for smartphones by which employees can let their phones know when they’re in trouble and require immediate help.

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