Survey Corporate travel departments see majority of risk management

Posted on Apr 25, 2014

Many organizations are thought to have a corporate risk management department, human resources department or a legal department to handle incidents that cause downtime or put workers in harm's way. However, according to a survey by Inform Logistics, of the nearly 125 global companies surveyed, the most common answer given by respondents when asked to identify who was responsible for risk management, was the travel management department.

Approximately 35 percent of respondents said their firm's travel department was responsible for risk management operations, while corporate security was listed at 30 percent. The report stated 18 percent of businesses looked to their HR department, 8 percent looked to senior management and 9 percent said it was outsourced.

"It's a little worrying because people aren't always sure who is in charge of risk management within corporations," Ian Flint, managing director for Inform Logistics, said at the Business Travel News Group's Travel Management 2013 conference.

Flint continued to explain that, of the companies surveyed, less than half said they had no corporate security plan in place. It's concerning news for some business executives since supply chains and other collaborating companies could be negatively impacted by organizations that lack a risk management plan.

Many legal team members aren't trained in risk management

Stephen Barth, founder and president of Hospitality Lawyer, explained that pushing all the work to one attorney could set an organization up for failure regarding their risk management system since the legal team typically has other daily functions and are not experienced in the field.

"There are very few attorneys in your corporate offices who understand this realm very well," Barth added at the conference, according to Business Travel News. "Many think workers' comp covers all this."

However, there are several issues that a risk management department should be tasked with, such as protecting corporate travelers, the drafting of risk-contingent polices and standards, workers' comp issues, employment laws and duty of care provisions, the source reported.

Barth explained that when employees are sent abroad, it's the organization's duty to securely monitor employees' air, hotel and rental car suppliers.

"Because all those companies have the same duty to their employees that you do to yours," Barth stated. "They all need to be on top of this and should have data for you about safety and security."

Employers still have to manage the health and safety for workers in the workplace or while traveling, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reported. The best way for an organization to strengthen their risk management is to institute a plan and set up a department designed and intended to address these issues.

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