When your colleagues need to travel for work, it’s important to keep employees safe. No matter whether your team will be traveling domestically or internationally, there is a wide variety of issues that could affect their health, safety, and well-being. Here are some steps you can take in order to ensure that your employees are safe when traveling for their jobs.
Provide Up-to-Date Threat Information
Many different issues can come up when an employee is on international travel. Political unrest could put an employee in a physically dangerous situation. An outbreak of infectious disease could put a halt to flight arrivals and departures or the ability to move from one city in a country to another. Civil unrest could break out in a place where your employee is working or traveling for business. The sooner your employee has the information they need, the better.
Deliver Location-Based Information
To make sure your employee has pertinent information about their safety when traveling for work, consider a location-based information system. This could be an app that uses the GPS data from the employee’s smartphone. It could be triggered to provide weather, illness, and safety alerts within a specific radius of the employee’s location. Consider allowing the app to have additional locations added to it. For example, if your employee is working for one week in Tokyo and will be flying to Hong Kong the following week, they may want to know about safety issues in Hong Kong as well.
Set Up a Communication Plan
It’s important to set up a communication plan between your organization and the employees who have to travel for work. Make sure there’s a point of contact available 24/7 at your home office. This could be the employee’s manager, a human resources specialist, or someone else. It’s especially important to have 24/7 availability because your employees could be in a time zone that’s 10 hours different than your home office. Emergencies don’t only happen during business hours, so constant communications are a must. Set up a way for your employees to confirm that they’re safe when an alert is issued for their location of travel.
Don’t just wait for an incident to happen and hope that your employee will be safe. Keep track of what’s going on around the world. The Department of State offers advisories and travel information for international travelers. Their assessments are updated on a regular basis. The World Health Organization offers up-to-date information about health threats around the world. There are many private services you can subscribe to for getting information about health and safety threats at international locations.
Create a Clear Incident Response Policy
It’s not always possible to know threats in advance. An explosion could happen without warning, and your employee could be affected. International flights might be halted due to a volcanic explosion, terrorism, or some other incident. Have an incident response policy that covers all your bases.
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