If you, or any member of your staff, travel for work purposes you need to attend a H E.A.T. course. Failing to do so could expose your company to financial and reputational damage for failing to fulfill your ” duty of care” obligations to your staff.
So, what is a ” duty of care ” obligation to your staff. The concept is enshrined in Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation in many jurisdiction worldwide and defines an employer’s responsibilities towards their staff in the workplace.
Typically, such responsibilities include hygiene best practices, environmental compliance and employee health and safety considerations in the workplace.
Yet, the workplace is no longer a fixed address for many staff. Often, staff travel to foreign countries to secure business for their employers. Business has become global. Although technology has provided quick and effective communications devices, the best business relationships are still built on trust. This trust is earned by travelling and meeting prospective clients, suppliers and interested parties, often at their places of work in foreign cities.
Not only has the place of work become less identifiable as a fixed location, but the range of threats posed to people travelling on company business has also changed.
In the past, employees might have faced the risk of food poisoning in the staff canteen or tripping over a carpet that had not been properly secured.
Today, the threats faced by all employees, especially corporate travelers, are more diverse and threatening. Apart from a growing number of natural disasters which appear to be happening with greater regularity and with more damaging effects, terrorism and lone shooter incidents are on the rise.
How do you protect your employees when their hotel in Burkina Faso is being mortared by rebel troops; or your sales staff in the Central African Republic (CAR) live in a compound that is on the line of march for a ragtag militia of drunk and machete- wielding protesters who demand regime change?
The first step is to define the extent of your duty of care obligations. Are some staff mire deserving of protection than others? Should only the CEO be protected or should all employees enjoy the same level of security.
After agreeing to the extent of your obligations to the well being of your staff, you then need to determine the type of risks you should be mitigating for them.
At Zero Foundation Africa, we define an hostile environment in which you and your employees face the risk to your loss of liberty, life and limb.
In other words, could you be travelling on company business and be abducted, tread on a landmine or be knifed during a street mugging?
Recent research by the University of Bremen, Germany, and by three faith- based NGOs have indicated that 4 kidnappings occur each day, 2 natural disasters occur each week and murders are a daily occurrence.
Ignore these risks at your peril.
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” Learn to Return”.