How International Businesses Can Improve Workplace Safety

Organizations based throughout the world encounter a variety of risks on a daily basis, and their employees need the right level of protection, training and awareness to handle these occupational hazards. While this may sound like a significant challenge, there are a number of effective strategies that can improve workplace safety.

Vigilance can protect workers abroad
Every international organization should  perform a comprehensive international risk assessment to identify potential problem areas. Problems vary depending on country, so each time a staff member deploys to a different location their employer must look at all the angles.

Nicholas Robertson, head of employment at Mayer Brown International, explained to Financial Times that there might even be legal requirements to monitor each situation abroad. Most companies must provide reasonable levels of safety for their workers, especially expatriates. In some cases, the best course of action may even be to remove the person from the situation altogether.

Susan Doris-Obando, senior associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, told Financial Times that all workers abroad have to know the risks in their current countries. This means in-depth training ahead of time, such as how to handle kidnap situations and what to do when crossing dangerous borders.

Manage risks in the workplace
While most risk assessments evaluate the risks of operating with employees overseas,  they should also consider their domestic work environment. With that in mind, employers must ensure that their staff members have safe working conditions when on property owned or operated by them.

According to the Australian government's Better Health Channel, this can be achieved in several ways, including:

  • Minimizing workplace stress - Attempts should be made to limit work hours, conflicts and sleep deprivation.
  • Taking frequent breaks - Workers should be required to take frequent breaks while on the job.
  • Providing protective equipment - Certain tasks need proper safety gear, and it should be provided by the employer.
  • Encouraging discussion - Risks can shift on a daily basis, so all workers should be encouraged to talk about their problems.

Above all else, international organizations should take precautionary measure and look into personal accident coverage. Policies can provide financial assistance to help keep workers safe on the job. Find out why personal accident insurance is economical

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