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Have occupational travelers in your business? Here's why you must protect them

by , 07 January 2014
An occupational traveler is a person who travels as part of their job description. If you have occupational travelers in your company, it's crucial you protect them Here's why...

Your employees are on duty 24 hours a day when they travel for work purposes to another town, province or country. And if you don't take steps to protect them, you risk spending one year in jail and other penalties.

But, there are six more reasons why you should protect these employees.

Six reasons to protect employees who travel for business

'Employees who travel extensively, including expatriates, are faced with constant pressure, not only with work, but with their spouses and family. Your employees must be psychologically prepared for travel,' says the Health & Safety Advisor.

If you don't psychologically prepare your employees and their families for extensive travel, it can result in the following:

  1. Poor work performance;
  2. Divorce or strained relationships;
  3. Poor physical health;
  4. Substance abuse;
  5. Suicidal threats; and
  6. Resignations.

By properly identifying, preparing, and treating these symptoms early on, your employee has a better chance of good work performance which will benefit both parties.

The good news is yo can prevent this from happening.

Follow these five steps to prepare and protect employees who travel for work

  1. Recruit staff employees who are able to deal with the demands of extensive travel. You can do this by implementing pre-employment medical and psychological evaluations for all potential travelers.
  2. Encourage organised packing. Advise frequent travelers to reduce their stress by keeping a ready packed suitcase for last minute travel.
  3. Encourage travelers to eat correctly, get sufficient sleep and to exercise where possible. This helps to reduce stress and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  4. Advise employees to establish good time management techniques, by planning trips properly so they aren't rushed. Encourage them to keep a diary. This'll help relieve stress as they'll know where they're going, at what time and which activities or projects they need to complete while there.
  5. Designate someone (a secretary or PA) to take care of the administration. This will ensure the employee has less to be concerned about when it comes to things like accommodation and work visas.

Important: If your employee is unfit for duty or travel, postpone the trip or find a replacement. It's illegal and unwise to send an unfit employee overseas.

Remember, it's your duty to ensure your employee is healthy and fit for work. This is to meet the requirements of the medical surveillance programme in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

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