In many developed countries, and a growing number of developing ones too, employers are required by law to provide a safe work environment, in order to reduce the potential of harm to employees, by way of safe work systems.
These systems must be relevant to the business, activities undertaken, identify hazards, consider and implement risk control measures and be constantly monitored for application, effectiveness and application.
This must all be documented, and applied to each unique work location and business undertaking.
This all applies to business travel too.
If a business does not conduct a specific, individual safety analysis for a each individual journey, traveller and destination, inclusive of the identification of hazards, documenting the relevant levels and then making a decision upon the risk exposure to both the traveler and business, then how can the business trip be considered a “safe work” environment?
If the selection and application of control measures are then not applied based upon the the evidence of the travel safety analysis, how can it be considered a “safe work” environment?
If there is not an interactive engagement between the traveller, travel manager/management company and the safety management professional/provider, how can the business trip be considered a safe work environment?
If the collective expertise of the travel safety department/provider is not immediately accessible and relevant to the manager and travellers, how can the business trip be considered a safe work environment?
If performance metrics, enquiries, incidents and numerous other factors are not constantly captured, reported and reintroduced back into the continuous improvement process, how can the business trip be considered a safe work environment?
Companies that fail to systematically manage travel safety, with consistent, individual risk management resources are exposing their company, business undertakings and business travellers to unnecessary risk and are likely to experience loss, damage and legal at some point.
Travel managers and travel management providers that fail to actively apply safe work systems to business travel, don’t guide the selection of business travel options and fail to reduce the business traveller’s exposure to avoidable risk or don’t apply available control measures are likely to experience personal, professional and business loss, damage and legal liability at some point.
Business travellers that work for a company that fails to develop and implement these travel safety management systems, or are managed by individuals and/or travel management companies that don’t have personalised travel safety management processes for each and every journey [demonstrable by you own personal travel safety analysis for each trip] are likely to experience life safety, health, security, loss, and injury incidents at some point, and have legal options for pursuing unsafe work practices whilst travelling for business.
Business travel is required to provide the same expectation of safe work environments as typically found in traditional, physical work places.