When it comes to due diligence and travel safety risk management, this is what every travel, human resources and risk manager should know. In this article we will cover due diligence defined, how it relates to travel risk management and the key actions required by companies and managers in order to demonstrate or prove their due diligence. By reading this article you will be able to confirm the true meaning of due diligence as it relates to travel risk management and determine if you and your company truly have a demonstrable travel risk management system that complies with your social and legal due diligence objectives.
The first point is to clarify as the the legal definition of due diligence.
Due Diligence Defined
Within the context of work health and safety, due diligence is defined in the following simplified form.
Acquisition and possession of up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters.
Analysis and understanding of the nature of the operations of the business or undertaking of the body and generally the hazards and risks associated with those operations.
Ensuring the body or company has available to use, and uses, appropriate resources and processes to enable hazards that are associated with the operations of the business or undertaking of the body to be identified and risks associated with those hazards to be eliminated or minimized.
Ensuring that the body has appropriate processes for receiving or considering information regarding incidents, hazards and risks and responding in a timely way to that information.
Ensuring that the body has, and implements, processes for complying with any duty or obligation of the body under the relevant acts or legislation.
To verify the provision and use of these resources and processes.
There are no omissions or exclusions granted for business travel.
Travel Risk Management Context
Business travel, unless proven otherwise exposes employees to hazards and threats. Therefore, in order to provide due diligence the process must be managed, demonstrable, effective and auditable processes applied. These processes must be based on up-to-date work health and safety matters, relevant to the business, identify foreseeable risks and hazards, implemented and appropriate resources, two-way communications regarding incidents, responsive and compliant with any act or legislation.
As stated, evidence of action is required, therefore companies need to be able to demonstrate all supporting processes and support to the various stakeholders not only in the event of claim but as an ongoing contribution to the welfare and productivity of their business travellers.
Evidence of Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management
Officers within the company must posses, understand and communicate the most recent work health and safety matters not only for single locations but also for specific alternate business locations and nationalities affected or covered by alternate acts and legislation.
Detailed and regular business analysis focusing on the nature of business operations or undertakings and the associated hazards relevant to the business and the business traveller for each and every destination, inclusive of airports, hotels and other points of call are required.
Full capture, assessment and disclosure of any identifiable hazards or threats to the business traveller. Use and comprehension of travel risk analysis supported by consistent and available travel risk management resulting in eliminated or minimized risk to business travellers.
Appropriate and implemented processes and procedures for receiving and considering information regarding input relating to incidents, hazards and risks and responding in a timely way to that information.
Active measures and results to ensure the company has, implements, processes and complies with any duty or obligation of the company under the various acts and legislation of the various countries and nationalities.
Verify that any and all resources provided for the purpose of travel risk management are in use and effective.
Failure to communicate or enforce compliance to due diligence can have disproportional effects on all organizations but even more so to those with sizable traveling or mobile human capital.
Conclusion: Travel Risk Management and Duty of Care
Now that you understand the importance of due diligence and how it is defined by legal opinions, you’ll probably see your approach and effectiveness in a whole new light. Due diligence does apply to business travel risk management and your business travellers and in order to prove or effectively demonstrate travel risk management due diligence you need consistent, auditable and effective evidence if you are to defend or confirm your ability to deliver on due diligence for business travel. Objectively review your current preparedness and processes specific to travel risk management. Use this advice to make your comparison and any omissions to your processes immediately.