Introduction: Travel Risk Management and Risk Assessments
When it comes to risk assessments and travel risk management, this is what every travel, human resources, risk and general manager should know. In this article we will cover some of the possible workplace health and safety risk assessment requirements, essential proofs for due diligence and travel risk management plans for business travel the complies with the company’s social and legal obligations. By reading this article you will be able to confirm if your travel risk assessment process meets the essential criteria and if you or your company truly have a demonstrable travel risk management system that supports workplace health and safety and fulfills your social and legal duty of care objectives.
Travel Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments
The travel hazard identification and risk assessment must be structured and aimed at meeting the minimum standards appropriate to the specified act or legislation. Artistic interpretations and non-related workplace health and safety elements may at time add value to the overall travel hazard identification and risk assessment process, it should be secondary to the primary essential criteria.
Continuous and timely updates and revisions are required in order to not only keep pace with developing refinements and amendments of the legislation but also the growing velocity of business travel frequency and diversity.
Centralized travel hazard identification and risk assessment concepts and formats are possible but each traveller, activity and location requires it’s own specific focus and travel risk management plan.
Essential Proofs for Travel Risk Assessments
The six essential requirements to developing and implementing an appropriate travel risk management process are:
- Gain knowledge of work health and safety matters
- Gain understanding of the hazards and risks of the operations
- Provide appropriate resources
- Consideration of incidents, hazards and risks
- Legal compliance
- Verify the system
1. Gain knowledge of work health and safety matters
Due diligence requires Officers to acquire and keep up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters, both in the specific context of their organization and undertakings.
Ignorance of changes in the law or industry standards is not a defence.
Practically it requires officers to engage in a program of training and information monitoring.
2. Gain understanding of the hazards and risks of the operations
To prove due diligence officers must gain an understanding of the nature of the operations of the business or undertaking of the organization and develop and understanding of the hazards and risks associated with those operations.
Focus on major hazards requires the development of a major hazards plan. Review the nature of the operations of the business or undertaking and the identification of major hazards associated with the operations. Differs from a risk assessment as the aim is to identify the major hazards which give rise to the risks with high consequences and not necessarily all hazards. The idea is that is that it takes the focus from low consequence high frequency risk profile (i.e. Slips, trips and falls), which are not the focus of corporate governance regimes contemplated by the due diligence duty and refocuses on the high consequence and low frequency risk profile, which must be identified by officers in order to satisfy due diligence.
Must focus on hazards associated with core business activities.
3. Provide appropriate resources
Provide appropriate resources that are commensurate with the size and nature of the operations of the business or undertaking is essential to ensure compliance with the safety duties of officers and is core to the proving of due diligence.
Due diligence requires officers to ensure that their organization has available for use, and uses, appropriate resources and processes to enable hazards that are associated with the operation to be identified and managed.
As a minimum this requires this requires recruiting appropriate personnel with relevant safety expertise. Dependent on the organization it could also mean having such people involved in the decision making process.
The duty require adequate and transparent investment in safety infrastructure, processes and systems.
4. Consideration of incidents, hazards and risks
Due diligence requires officers to ensure that the organization has appropriate processes for receiving and considering information regarding not only incidents, but also hazards and risks associated with the operations of the business of the organization.
There are two aspects to this.
1) the information of the hazards and risks is required in order to monitor the hazards and risks as they arise
2) the information on incidents is required to identify deficiencies in the existing risk management that need to be addressed
It also requires officers to ensure that there are processes for responding in a timely way to that information. Hence it is necessary to report, analyze and respond to safety performance.
Officers focusing on lag indicators cannot have the requisite level of assurance that the company was compliant, where officers that focus on lead indicators can have a high level of assurance of ongoing compliance. The problem with lead indicators is that they are not standardized within or across industries.
Officers must monitor lead and lag indicators to prove due diligence
5. Legal compliance
The duty of officers requires them to ensure that the organization develops, and implements, processes for complying with any legal duty that the organization has under the model workplace health and safety Act. This can only be achieved by undertaking a legal compliance audit of the organization. A systematic review of the organizations, policies, procedures and practices using the relevant legal requirement as the standard)
Verification of compliance will be necessary to prove due diligence.
6. Verify the system
The duty of officers is to both provide the systems and verify the implementation of the provided systems.
This can be done via commissioning and safety audits, but the duty also requires personal involvement of the officers.
Due diligence is about safety leadership and is not a duty that can be delegated. Officers must take personal responsibility for their organizations safety performance.
Travel Risk Management Plans
Travel risk management plans must be an extension of the information gathering and risk assessment process. All pertinent information for both the business traveller and company officer should be contained in the plan.
Travel risk management plans need not be overly laborious or time demanding with much of the content and information distilled from previous stages and tasks.
Travel risk management plans must be readily available and usable by all agents and may be utilized in printed, electronic, application or online formats.
The final format and content for your travel risk management plan should be consistent with the workplace health and safety requisites but also expanded to appropriately include enhanced features to benefit the business traveller and the company. The final format should be an informative, educational, actionable and renewable tools that improves your business travel productivity, efficiency and safety while mitigating or eliminating business travel risk.
Conclusion: Travel Risk Management Plans
Now that you understand the importance of travel risk assessments and 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 some of the possible workplace health and safety risk assessment requirements, essential proofs for due diligence and travel risk management plans for business travel the 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 Risk Assessments by
Tony Ridley and Jason Parsons