Doing due diligence on ground transport providers

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Every year, 1.3 million people die on the world’s roads with millions more seriously injured. As the level of business travel continues to increase year on year, death and injuries on the road are becoming problems in areas regularly visited by business travellers. Other worrying factors for business travellers to think about are opportunistic crime, carjackings, and assaults.

A special report co-authored by the Anvil Group and GroundScope highlighted the main issues in ground transportation today, what can be done to increase awareness of those issues and provided advice on companies aiming to enhance and mature their duty of employee care programs.

Taking ownership of ground transportation and the duty of care

Employers must adhere to common law duty of care issues as well as to health and safety laws and to employment laws. “Companies must take ‘reasonable steps’ to mitigate risk for their travelling employees, whatever their destination or mode of transport”, asserts the report.

Companies have a moral responsibility to ensure employee safety and security – however many companies want to perform above and beyond their moral responsibilities as the want to “look after their people and create a great culture and a great place to work”.

Everyone within the company has a role to play in traveller health and safety as well as the individual traveller themselves. The management of any organisation can ensure that proper training is given to employees on understanding potential risks, on carrying out due diligence on all transport providers, and to adhere to the company’s travel policies.

The traveller should take every protective measure possible to safeguard themselves including being aware of their surroundings and the consequences of the actions.

There is much ground to be gained within organisations by asking experienced travellers to take part in “lessons learned” workshops where they can share their experiences with less seasoned travellers to stop them inadvertently getting themselves into trouble.

Corporate travel policies should be easy for both the travel manager and the traveller to understand and maintain. Simplicity is the key, according to GroundScope’s CEO John McCallion – “you can’t…tell [staff] it’s OK to do whatever they like re their ground transportation. It’s the most dangerous part of the journey. You don’t want them getting into a random taxi which has not been fully vetted and the driver’s been on duty of 20+ hours and is falling asleep at the wheel”. John McCallion recommends that companies de-risk by using an intermediary platform like GroundScope in the vetting of potential ground transportation suppliers and ongoing management of their compliance to a high standard.

Countries and activities should be classed by management on a red-amber-green scale and companies should remove responsibility for decision making out of employee’s hands for red or amber countries or activities.

Finding gaps in your travel policy

The report recommends that you ask yourself seven key questions of your policy because omissions, however small, could be perceived by a court of law as being negligence.

Key policy gaps to look out for include:

  • Does your travel policy omit safety and security considerations of ground transportation altogether?
  • Does the policy differentiate between different levels of seniority with one set of considerations for senior management and a different set for other employees?
  • Does your company fail to inform and educate travellers on general and specific risks regarding ground transportation?
  • Does your company document when they have advised employees on travel policy and safety and security?
  • Does your broader travel security programme focus purely on higher-risk foreign travel rather than including domestic travel and taking a door-to-door approach?
  • Does your company authorise expense claims for ground transportation options that fall outside of official policy?
  • Are safety and security considerations a fundamental part of the ground transportation procurement criteria?

Due diligence on ground transportation providers

The Anvil Group and GroundScope provide a safe and reliable service wherever you may be travelling to in the world and offers advice and guidance when the stakes are greater in higher-risk regions of the world.

If you would like your own copy of the report produced by GroundScope in association with Anvil Group please contact us today to let us know.

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