Duty of care vs risk management – is there really a difference?

Duty of care vs risk management is there really a difference


At any given time, there are approximately 800500 passengers in the air, according to Boeing Magazine. That’s over three-quarters of a million people flying at the same time, every single day. With 40% of air travel being for business purposes, companies across South Africa have thousands of travellers in the air daily. That’s precisely why companies of all sizes need to have a focus on keeping their business travellers safe.

How do you do this? 

By having a reliable travel risk management programme and duty of care policy in place. It’s important to remember however that risk management and duty of care are not one and the same.

Duty of Care is the employer's moral and legal responsibility to keep their employees healthy and safe while travelling for work. A travel risk management program is a well-rehearsed plan that provides duty of care to your people.

Simply put, your duty of care is the system you put in place to keep your travellers safe- this includes outlining your emergency evacuation procedures and storing of emergency contact details. The risk management part of it is the “how” part of it. It’s how you will alert your travellers on how you will get them back to safety. 

When an incident happens, you should be able to answer, "who's at risk" and "are they ok.” Companies of all sizes should give their travellers safety training, pre-travel briefings, explore the possibility of mobile alerts and ensure travellers have 24/7 access to a phone number for medical and security advice and assistance. 

In our previous article, we gave you tips on how to put together your duty of care programme. Let’s explore the risk management portion of your duty of care…

Travel risk management doesn’t mean to completely eliminate all risks, but more about how you can try mitigate as many of the risks as possible.