Employees traveling for work are exposed to more risks than ever because of the rising climate changes and unstable geopolitical environment.
FREMONT, CA: With the growth of globalization and trade agreements between countries, businesses often have to send employees to international destinations to promote commercial enterprise and seek new venture. Currently, business-related travel represents at least 14 percent of all international travel.
Risks and Threats
The emergency management field specifies three categories of risks that pose threats to people.
• Natural hazards include earthquakes, floods, and wildfires.
• Technological hazards are accidents or the failure of infrastructure systems that can result in events like train derailments, nuclear radiation release, or power outages.
• Human-caused threats are intentional acts such as military actions, terrorism, and civil unrest.
All of these risks and threats can be detrimental for employees who are traveling and who may not have the resources at hand or the knowledge on how to respond to such situations effectively. The employee’s organization should have some definitive emergency plans, as well as a crisis management framework, to handle the growing risks of international travel.
Duty of Care
Employers owe a duty of care to employees, which is deeply rooted in common law. Making sure that their safety and security is a priority while engaged in business-related activities and this requirement goes far across international borders when employees are required to travel as part of their job.
By enforcing a strong travel security program with proper approval controls and constant monitoring of international conditions in place, organizations can increase their duty of care requirements and alleviate their liability exposure.
Some of the successful practices of a corporate travel security program include:
• A travel security program supported by executive management;
• Creation of a designated job function responsible for travel security;
• Development, communication, and regular updates of the travel security policy; and
• Implementation of a travel management program to track employees and monitor global situations in real-time.
There are services offered by companies that can track the movements of employees in high-risk areas. It also provides apps on smartphones through which employees can signal if they are in distress and in need of immediate assistance.
Death by Natural Causes while Abroad
In cases where an employee may die while overseas of natural causes, organizations need to have plans in place to return the body and provide support to the employee’s family.
Without any proper emergency arrangements implemented in advance, the jurisdiction in which the person has died, as well as their own religious burial requirements, can turn to a logistical mess for the organization.
Security risk management procedures for businesses to protect their employees via a proper travel security program are vital in today’s operating environment.