Even in today’s age of technologically advanced machines, the human workforce remains a valuable asset to any industry. The bigger the machine, the bigger the responsibility of the company to safeguard the working conditions of its employees.
For the past decade, many countries have paid extra attention to employee safety and health, especially for industries such as mining, manufacturing and construction. It’s no secret that when Legislation changes, companies are forced to change their travelling employee policy and invest in safety measures for their workforce.
Journey management is mandated by law
The policies, processes and procedures surrounding a travelling workforce is termed ‘Journey Management’. In essence, the goal of journey management is to ensure travelling employees arrive safely at their destination.
Accidents happen, however journey management systems are set in place to safeguard the organisation from non-compliance but most importantly to be seen as developing a culture where the safety and wellbeing of their employees is paramount. After all, managers want to have peace of mind that their travelling workforce is safe.
A real life example in Mining
A mining company in Queensland was once put “under enquiry” when it was discovered that it actually had a sizeable number of casualties. Its workers commuted for long hours to the mining site, and of course, had to take the same route going home. It didn’t help that they had to work extended shifts. The employer argued that their company has been following strict work environment regulations, and that employees’ activities offsite are out of their control.
This, however, overlooks the culture of 24-hour shifts caused by mining productivity pressures. Workers had accepted that they have to work extended hours, and commute lengthily to and from the site, thinking “oh, this is just how the industry works.”
This lack of foresight in worker fatigue led initiatives to amend the Queensland Coal Mining Safety and Health Act, requiring employers to create a proactive Journey Management Plan addressing issues on long shifts and commuting circumstances. As a result, the number of casualties was significantly reduced.
Make your employees feel safe
Journey Management isn’t all about facts and figures, it’s about employees feeling the employer is genuinely concerned for their health and safety, inspiring them to do their work better in the process.
The last thing a company needs is to lose a set of highly skilled team members to injury or the perception that the company doesn’t really care for them or their work.
Preparing and executing a Journey Management plan may sound tedious and costly, but to tell you the truth, it doesn’t have to be and a lot of industry leaders acknowledge the need for this. They get to avoid headaches from potential losses, mismanagement, and the loss of performing staff members due to harm/death or transferring to other companies that have journey management plans.