Serious illness, natural catastrophes and stolen belongings ... from everyday hazards to worst-case scenarios, the potential for peril associated with multinational business travel is high.
From a report by ACE's Accident and Health Division, here are some safety tips that will safeguard employees and organizations in a variety of travel situations.
What can organizations do to protect traveling employees and limit business interruption?
1. Review your travel insurance policy to make sure it provides adequate accident, health and emergency response benefits for traveling employees.
2. Be sure your employees know how to contact your travel assistance provider while traveling on business, especially if traveling outside their home country.
3. Establish a method for tracking employee travel and develop a communication system for emergency situations.
4. Avoid sending a concentration of employees in the same vehicle—airplane, train, bus or motor car.
5. Obtain pre-travel risk assessments for destinations where employees will travel, especially if they are traveling to areas of known risk.
6. Conduct training programs and orientation sessions to review travel risks and response protocols with traveling employees.
7. For employees with known health risks or taking maintenance medications, make sure they are fit for travel and have access to local facilities.
8. Check the security settings on laptops and other electronic devices, including access to your networks and legacy systems. Inform employees of procedures to follow if they suspect a data breach or system compromise.
What can organizations do to ensure all employees are adequately protected when traveling?
9. Provide your employees with access to a travel assistance provider that will help them locate lost items, or even provide a cash advance in an emergency situation.
10. Remember many domestic health care plans may not respond at the point of service if an employee is injured or suffers a medical emergency while travelling on business, especially if travelling outside of the country. Check with your healthcare provider and consider making short-term out-of-country medical insurance available for your global travelers.
11. Implement a controlled master program for multinational travel exposures, on par with similar programs addressing global property and casualty risks. Controlled master programs integrate locally admitted insurance policies into a master program to help avoid coverage gaps.
What can employees do to protect themselves when traveling by air?
12. Stay alert and watch your bags and laptop carefully. Stay especially aware when traveling through a security checkpoint and while waiting in a lobby or terminal.
13. Only allow authorized personnel to handle your bags.
14. Keep a record of the contents in your checked luggage. Don’t check anything that would be difficult to replace.
15. If there is any sort of disturbance, move away—not toward—the potential threat.
16. If you notice anyone acting in an unusual or suspicious manner, alert an airline employee or the authorities.
What can travelers do to protect themselves on the road?
17. Familiarize yourself with your rental vehicle by testing the controls. Confirm that everything is in good working order before leaving the facility. Visually inspect the exterior of the vehicle and take pictures if necessary.
18. Know the route you will be traveling. Have a trustworthy navigational system and a map or written directions with you, and chart your course before leaving. If you have to reference the map, try to avoid doing so in wide-open spaces.
19. Lock your car doors while driving and only park in well-lit areas.
20. Do not leave valuables in plain sight in the vehicle. Lock personal items in the trunk when leaving the car.
21. Drive only on well-traveled roadways. Do not attempt unfamiliar shortcuts or make stops in dimly lit or lonely places.
What can travelers do to protect themselves at a hotel?
22. If possible, try to avoid staying in a room on the ground floor, as you may be more susceptible to break-ins and other incidents.
23. Keep hotel doors and windows locked at all times. When you arrive, and any time you leave and return to the room, check to confirm the locks are working.
24. If you brought any valuables, be certain to leave them in the hotel safe.
25. Confirm that your room has a working peephole and use it to verify the identity of anyone who knocks on the door. If an unexpected visitor claims to be a hotel employee, call the front desk to confirm.
26. Learn the location of the nearest fire exits, elevators and phones.
27. If connecting to the hotel WiFi, do not agree to any updates that may pop up on your screen.