Travel Risk Management and Workplace Health and Safety

Introduction: Travel Risk Management and Workplace Health and Safety

When it comes to workplace health and safety and travel risk management, this is what every travel, human resources and general manager should know. In this article we will cover workplace health and safety, travel health and safety and travel risk management that complies with the company’s social and legal obligations. By reading this article you will be able to confirm the true meaning of workplace health and safety as it relates to travel risk management and determine if you or your company truly have a demonstrable travel risk management system that supports workplace health and safety and fulfills you social and legal primary duty of care objectives.

The first point is to clarify as to the legal definition of workplace health and safety related to travel risk management.

Workplace Health and Safety and Primary Duty of Care Defined

The primary duty of care has been imposed on the person/s conducting business or undertakings (PCBU) as the they have the ability to direct, control and influence the element of work.

The elements of work are:

  • The timing of the work
  • The location of the work
  • Who carries out the work
  • The skill and experience level required of the people that are completing the work
  • The systems of work
  • With what the work is done  for example plant, equipment,  ingredients or chemicals)

As the person or entity who is requiring the work to be done determines and gives directions on each of these elements. That person or entity, therefore, owes a duty of care to its Officers, Workers and People in the Workplace.

A person conducting business or undertakings (PCBU) must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of:

  • workers engaged, or caused to be engaged by the person; and
  • workers whose activities in carrying out work are influenced or directed by the person while the workers are at work in the business or undertaking.

A PCBU must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of other persons is not put at risk from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking.

A PCBU must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable:

  • the provision and maintenance of a work environment without risks to health and safety; and
  • the provision and maintenance of safe plant and structures; and
  • the provision and maintenance of safe systems of work; and
  • the safe use, handling and storage of plant, structures and substances; and
  • the provision of adequate facilities for the welfare at work of workers in carrying out work for the business or undertaking, including ensuring access to those facilities; and
  • the provision of any information, training, instruction or supervision that is necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking; and
  • that the health of workers and the conditions at the workplace are monitored for the purpose of preventing illness or injury of workers arising from the conduct of the business or undertaking.

There are no exclusions for business travel or mobile workplaces. Travel risk management is therefore required.

Travel Health and Safety-Travel Risk Management

Travel Risk Management
Travel Risk Management

The expectation and obligation of the PCBU and it’s officers is to ensure duty of care and a workplace health and safety processes and standards that mitigate or eliminate threats to as low as reasonably practical.

Continuation of site, office, plant and equipment health and safety is required to include business travel. Appropriate information, training, education, awareness, monitoring and support is required in order to achieve the aim for all aspects, inclusive of business travel. Officers of the company are responsible to ensure no harm affects business travellers as reasonably practical.

 Travel Risk Management

Until proven otherwise or demonstrable action is taken, all business travel is to be considered exposure of hazard and danger to the business traveller. Regardless of the duration, location or nature of the business travel, consistent and timely travel risk management processes and procedures are required.

The six essential requirements to developing and implementing an appropriate travel risk management process are:

  1. Gain knowledge of work health and safety matters
  2. Gain understanding of the hazards and risks of the operations
  3. Provide appropriate resources
  4. Consideration of incidents, hazards and risks
  5. Legal compliance
  6. Verify the system

Conclusion: Travel Risk Management and Workplace Health and Safety

Now that you understand the importance of workplace health and safety by legal opinions, you will probably see your approach in a whole new light. Workplace health and safety does apply to business travel and your business travellers. We have covered workplace health and safety, travel health and safety and travel risk management that complies with the company’s social and legal obligations. In order to prove or effectively demonstrate that you have included the workplace health and safety you need consistent, auditable, appropriate and implemented evidence if you are to mitigate or eliminate the risks associated with business travel, convey confidence to business travellers that you are proactively fulfilling your duty of care and defend or confirm your compliance with the various acts and legislation. Objectively review your current preparedness and process specific to travel risk management and use this advice to make your comparison and rectify any omissions to your processes immediately.

Travel Risk Management and Workplace Health and Safety By

Tony Ridley and Jason Parsons

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