In today’s day and age, rethinking duty of care is a must for organizations because the majority of your workforce – if they aren’t already – is expected to be mobile by 2020. Moving forward, you must include remote and traveling employees in your safety and security plans. In a recent white paper, Steven M. Crimando, Principal, Behavioral Science Applications, discussed the topic in detail and how it will impact employers and employees. Read on for some key takeaways:

Employers MUST Include Mobile Workers in Safety and Security Programs

“All employers have a Duty of Care to each individual employee, regardless of where they work. Duty of Care is owed to each employee as an individual. Employers must consider opening the umbrella of their safety and security programs wide enough to cover mobile workers wherever they are on the job. Mobile workers should not be at more risk than other employees in an organization. Omitting mobile workers from the organization’s overall safety and security practices program creates a double standard and undermines both the employer’s and employee’s position.”

Duty of Care is a Legal Issue in Many Developed Countries

“Many developed countries are enforcing employer’s Duty of Care by implementing legal statutes along with extensive case law that often sides with the employee. Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, U.K. and the U.S. all have some form of employer Duty of Care legislation in place. For example, the United Kingdom passed the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act of 2007 (Manslaughter Act) which imposes criminal liability on corporations where there is a gross breach of the Duty of Care resulting in a death of a person, such as an employee, person on a work site, a mobile worker or traveler. Since this law was implemented in 2008, there have been 16 cases tried under the Manslaughter Act, with 12 convictions. Employers should keep in mind that the lack of a specific Duty of Care law in a jurisdiction does not necessarily mean there are no legal obligations for organizations in relation to employee health and safety while travelling.”

Employees Must Share the Duty of Care Responsibility

While there are many concerns for employers, the Duty of Care is also considered a shared responsibility; both employer and employee must do their part. Complacency and normalcy bias are often the greatest threats to mobile worker safety. One of the most important steps employees can take to ensure their safety is to adjust their attitudes, beliefs and awareness about the potential for trouble in mobile work settings ranging from home offices to a corner table at a favorite coffee shop. Whether onsite or off, all employees must remember that they should never be passive observers to their own safety.

Access the full document here, “Duty of Care for a Mobile Workforce: Out of Sight Cannot Mean Out of Mind.”

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