If you are reading this Managing the safety, health and security of mobile workers: an occupational safety and health practitioner’s guide publication, you are already likely to be aware that an employer has a duty of care towards their employees. While this is not an ‘absolute’ duty, the employer may have to demonstrate whether they acted ‘reasonably’ in any given situation. Within these parameters are the times when workers are travelling to or working in other countries.
Your organisation may have employees or volunteers who travel on business or may be stationed at facilities in high-risk areas. This guide will help you understand how to translate your duty of care into policies, processes and actions that will protect your workforce and thereby not only support your business aims but also improve your organisation’s reputation and credibility.
In particular, the Managing the safety, health and security of mobile workers: an occupational safety and health practitioner’s guide covers the need to:
- have a safety and health policy in place that includes travel safety,health and security and to make sure these policies are actively enforced
- carry out risk assessments in order to understand properly the relative health, safety and security risks that will apply to employees while they are abroad, tailored to the specific circumstances of the business trip or international assignment
- ensure that a system is in place to be able to pinpoint employees’ location in order to ensure their safety
- prepare and educate employees about the locations where they will be working
- provide employees with access to a 24-hour helpline, which may be able to provide support for medical or security questions or facilitate the provision of emergency assistance at a time when an employee’s usual points of contact would not be available
- provide appropriate travel healthcare support.