DYNAMIQ IN THE NEWS: ARE WE DOING ENOUGH TO ENSURE OUR TRAVELLERS ARE SAFE?

ARE WE DOING ENOUGH TO ENSURE OUR TRAVELLERS ARE SAFE?

08 January 2014

Nearly 12,000 travelling Australians requested consular assistance while overseas in 2012-2013 where they faced situations ranging from medical emergencies to trouble with local law enforcement. The costs incurred to service these requests can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands per request, with a single case of medical support while travelling in the USA costing a reported $240,000.

Many of the requests for consular assistance originate from leisure travellers, but those involving business travellers are often high profile, generating media interest and great scrutiny. The current review of the operations of the Department of Foreign Affairs' consular services, with a focus on cost recovery for consular support for those who ignored official travel advice not to go to a particular country because it was dangerous, or who did not take out adequate insurance when they were advised to do so and then required consular support, will only increase the attention garnered by businesses with affected travellers.

This interest leads to questions focussed on the preparatory steps and ongoing measures taken by the business to ensure that travellers are adequately prepared prior to travel and have access to the relevant tools and training to deal with the challenges they may face whilst travelling on company business. A lack of attention to this duty of care to travellers can result in reputation damage, legal costs and a diversion of key senior resources to resolve the issues. There is also the impact on the willingness of others to travel on company business to consider, not to mention the possibility of loss of life or serious injury to an employee -an unacceptable risk to any business.

Travellers face a number of potential challenges that include exposure to civil unrest or natural disasters as well as the more common concerns of personal illness or injury and crime and assault. The question for Australian businesses to answer is,  “Are we doing enough to ensure our travellers are safe?”

Dynamiq recommends the following points should be considered as a minimum standard duty of care and that every business traveller:

1. Understands the key risks of the areas they are travelling to
2. Receives risk updates relevant to their trip while travelling
3. Is able to call for assistance 24/7 should they need support
4. Check in every 24 hours if they are in a high risk location

The results are not only safer, better informed  travellers but an awareness from all employees that the organisation takes their welfare seriously.

- Daniel Pritchard, Chief Operations Officer, Dynamiq

January 8th, 2014

Back to all news