Getting your staff to their target destination efficiently and cost-effectively is a priority for any business. But making sure that it’s done safely is even more important.
No business must overlook safety when booking transport for their staff. Employers have a duty of care that, when not complied with, could have disastrous consequences for the company and the employee alike, ranging from expensive settlements to lengthy court proceedings.
Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to ensure your staff travel as safely and securely as possible. Here are the most important factors to consider when making travel arrangements.
1. Conduct a pre-travel risk assessment
“Prevention is the best cure”, as the adage goes. This is as true when applied to business travel safety as it is with your health.
Before you confirm the travel arrangements for your staff, it’s crucial that you conduct a risk assessment of the journey. Doing so allows you to put measures in place to minimise the likelihood of your employees coming under any harm during their trip.
Your risk assessment should consider the following factors:
Weather — Are harmful weather conditions like storms or flooding forecast to occur during the trip?
Political or economic factors — Is there any civil unrest in the city or country your employees are travelling to?
The current rate of COVID-19 infections — Is the infection rate climbing rapidly in the area your staff are journeying to? You should refer to the latest government guidance on the target R rate to check whether it is considered unsafe to travel.
Availability of healthcare and medical support — Should your employees become ill or injured on their journey, would they have immediate access to medical help?
Employee-specific needs — Do any travellers have special health requirements or disabilities? If so, are there facilities in place to support their needs at every step of the journey?
Once you’ve completed your risk assessment, it’s your responsibility to communicate with your employees and explain the risks and measures you’ve taken to prevent them.
It’s best to get employee feedback before the travel date to ensure they understand their responsibilities and yours. You can then tailor the arrangements if your employees feel there is anything missing.
2. Stay COVID secure at all times
In light of the current pandemic, COVID safety measures are the most critical that you need to put in place.
While it’s impossible to ensure your staff are at zero risk of contracting the virus, there are several measures you can enforce that will drastically reduce the likelihood of infection or transmission. You can help by asking your staff to:
Wear a face covering indoors (unless exempt)
Carry hand sanitiser, applying regularly
Maintain social distancing (minimum two metres) and let fresh air into meeting spaces
Only arrange face to face meetings where necessary
Reduce their public transport usage
If your employee’s test positive in the workplace, CMAC can help.
CMAC provides on-demand specialist transport for UK-based employees displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or who produce a positive test result. We only used drivers registered by the Care and Quality Commission (CQC) which guarantees they’re fully trained in:
Infection Prevention Control (IPC)
Wheelchair user safety
With our COVID-19 transport solutions, you can ensure that employees who have tested positive are safely transported home while reducing the further spread of the virus.
In addition, you can help your employees minimise the risk of coming into contact with the virus with a door to door solution. Travellers can enjoy the convenience of being picked up on their doorstep and being taken directly to their destination without the need to come into contact with other commuters; keeping your staff comfortable and safe.
3. Protect staff from theft and fraud
When travelling for business, there’s an increased risk of being the target of theft or fraud. Staff may be carrying expensive equipment or company credit cards that could prove highly lucrative for someone who catches them unaware.
As an employer, you can reduce the risk of theft or fraud with thorough staff training. There are many risks to make your team aware of, along with how to appropriately mitigate them.
The most common issues include:
Pickpocketing — Your employees could be targeted by pickpockets when disembarking trains or tube stations in busy city centres. You can make it difficult for thieves by instructing staff to keep small valuables like wallets and phones tucked away in an inside pocket, rather than an easy-to-access back pocket.
Fraud — It’s not uncommon for people travelling on business to meet people claiming to be taxi drivers but are, in fact, illegitimate and will charge exorbitant fees. Arranging corporate travel on your team’s behalf with our qualified partners ensures they’re not victims of malicious actors.
Cybersecurity — Not all criminals need to get near your employees to steal from them. Staff working on-the-go risk being hacked, which could expose sensitive company information. You can reduce the odds of this happening by asking employees to avoid logging into unfamiliar (and potentially insecure) Wi-Fi hosts, like those on trains and in cafes.
Hotel theft — Complete a risk assessment on the hotels you partner with before employees stay. Consider the locations, crime rates and incidents in the area, terrorism threats and how staff have been trained to tackle security threats or emergencies.
Training your staff in how to reduce their risk of being exploited makes travelling safer both for them and for the business as a whole. Taking the time to inform your team and field any queries is therefore instrumental in the long-term security of your business travel arrangements.
4. Prepare for the possibility of a breakdown or car accident
Whenever your team is travelling — whether by car, taxi or bus — there’s always the looming possibility that they’ll experience a breakdown, or more seriously, a collision. When this happens, you need to have a plan to ensure your team can quickly get to safety.
Onward travel transport solutions from CMAC address the problem by providing your staff with the necessary means to complete their journey when things don’t go as planned.
Our extensive supplier network enables a vast range of vehicles to be dispatched quickly and safely when vehicles can’t be fixed at the roadside. Better still, all our partners comply with outstanding operational standards of delivery so there’s no dip in the quality of security throughout the journey.
5. Plan for worst-case scenarios
The health & safety at work act specifies that businesses have a duty of care towards their employees and people affected by their activities.
Despite all our best efforts though, incidents do happen. From natural disasters to man-made risks, staff may end up in a position where they are left stranded in unfamiliar surroundings.
Thankfully, you can react quickly and confidently, using CMAC's Homesafe Platform to send emergency transport links.
Homesafe is a software solution enabling you to manage any critical event and easily mobilise employees to ensure everyone gets to their destination safely. It enables multiple teams across your organisation to quickly and easily:
Send emergency alerts to targeted groups through SMS or email.
Activate emergency transport booking links to quickly mobilise people.
All travellers will receive real-time vehicle tracking along with the capability to cancel or amend their ride at any time. Not only does it provide fast solutions to potential threats to your team’s safety, but it also gives them the peace of mind that their employer is looking out for them at all times.
6. Be prepared to cancel travel if necessary
Sometimes the safest option is not to travel at all. While it can be inconvenient to shelve your travel plans, an employer’s duty of care to their employees must always come before the potential benefits of getting them to an event or client meeting.
There are a number of scenarios in which it may be unsafe for your team to travel. They include:
Heavy snow or ice
Civil unrest (e.g. rioting)
While it may be impossible to predict some of the circumstances in which your travel arrangements must be postponed as outlined above, you should prepare to make emergency accommodation arrangements for staff should they find themselves stranded.
CMAC’s centralised emergency hotel and accommodations booking system means that you can quickly arrange rooms for large numbers of staff across our portfolio of hotel partners, spanning both global hotel groups and regional chains.
Prepare, react, protect
Having access to safe travel is important to any ambitious business. By preparing ahead of time by assessing the possible risks and putting measures in place to prevent them, you fulfill your duty of care as an employer by protecting your team from perceivable eventualities. Not only that, but as an employer that goes the extra mile to ensure the safety of your team, you’ll continue to earn the trust and respect of your employees.
By making use of CMAC’s market-leading business travel solutions, you can guarantee the safety of your employees is always the top priority. Find out more about our services today.