Draft your travel medicine procedure before your employee comes back from a business trip with a COID claim!
If you have employees that travel on business (occupational travelers) in your company then you need to protect them against any risks they may encounter while they're travelling for work.
Because you have a legal duty to protect them while they're busy closing that R1 million sales deal for your company!
Occupational travelers are effectively still at work when they're travelling for work.
From pre- to post-travel, your employees' health is yours to monitor. What if your employee is injured overseas or contracts a disease? Would you know what to do?
Here's how to develop a travel medicine programme for your workplace to safeguard your occupational travelers health and well-being.
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How to create your travel medicine programme in 4 simple steps
If you don't have an occupational health clinic on site, the following points will help to ensure that travelling employees are well looked after.
Read the fine print very carefully to know the exact terms and conditions as well as any exclusions.
Find out which employees are travelling and where.Refer them to a reputable travel medicine clinic to have the risk of their destination and workplace assessed by qualified medical staff.
Ask your travel agent or family doctor to refer you to a travel clinicor you can look for one in the health care directory for each province or simply search on the internet.
Make sure you provide appropriate travel insurance cover for your employees, e.g. travel insurance and register for COID.
Provide the employee with a basic first aid kitand information about what to do in emergencies (can be provided by onsite clinic or travel clinic). The doctor must provide a prescription for any drugs.
A post-travel follow up must be arrangedonce your employee has returned from his overseas trip. The reason for this is that:
Travellers may have infections that pose a risk to public health such as: Lassa, Ebola (3-21 days' incubation).
Some diseases are notifiable. You must report these to the Department of Health (e.g. Cholera, Malaria and TB).
The traveller may develop adverse reactions to immunisations and other medications while abroad, which also need to be reported.
This information helps to monitor global trends in infectious diseases.
The points that I've mentioned above are merely just a skeleton of what you need to do to create a travel medicine programme.
Read Chapter T01 on Travel Medicine for the Occupational Traveler in your Health and Safety Advisor
for a more detailed, step-by-step process on how to create your travel medicine programme.
Apart from the fact that it's your legal duty to protect your employees, (and if you don't comply you'll be liable for penalties), here's a few more reasons why you should introduce a travel medicine programme in your company today.
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3 more reasons to create a travel medicine programme
Implement a Travel Medicine programme in your company today and you'll help to:
Protect your employees from disease;
Minimise ill health; and
Enhance productivity - having a travel programme in your workplace will ensure the health of the employee and optimise work performance. (The employee will know what to do and have the necessary vaccinations to carry out his work safely.)
So the next time John travels overseas on a business trip, you'll have all your bases covered and know that you've done everything possible to keep your employee safe and healthy.
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