Archive for October, 2015

Article by Wall Street Journal: The Morning Risk Report: Ship Lawsuit Underlines ‘Duty of Care’ Risk

October 23rd, 2015 Comments off


Last week’s news that the family of a crew member from the missing cargo ship El Faro is suing the owners for $100 million is a reminder of the rising risk companies face from employees or their families when they feel they haven’t been adequately protected from occupational dangers.

Tara Lee and Joseph Davis of law firm DLA Piper, writing this summer, said that the law covering the so-called “duty of care” owed by employers to employees hasn’t changed, but what has changed is “the recognition that the United States can be an appropriate forum for lawsuits arising out of injuries that occur just about anywhere on the globe.” They point to recent lawsuits involving employees working outside the U.S. who have been injured in accidents, kidnapped, murdered, wrongly imprisoned or contracted a rare disease. “Organizations cannot inoculate themselves from lawsuits like these…Anyone can file a suit, and companies should expect that one will follow any serious incident,” they wrote.

Peter Martin, chief executive of Afimac, a global security consultancy, in commenting on the El Faro suit, wrote that “regardless of how many of these cases we see, many companies truly fail to understand their obligation under ‘duty of care.’” Limiting such risk is partly a case of companies adhering to their own policies, he wrote. “Where a company has clearly not followed its own internal policies on items like routine maintenance or the monitoring of incoming inclement weather, you can be assured that will result in a significant financial penalty, as well as potential criminal charges for the management that directed the employees should negligence be found,” he said.

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The Onus is on You to be Clipped In

October 20th, 2015 Comments off

The Onus is On You

This past weekend, my 12-year-old daughter participated in a tree trekking event with her PathFinders’ unit. When I picked her up, I asked how it went and she responded that she loved it. Apparently there were five difficulty levels to choose from, and my daughter had chosen the most difficult course. I then asked her if the others in her group did the same thing, and she said they didn’t. My daughter continued to explain that some of her friends got nervous through the course, and turned back or quit at various checkpoints.

The onus is on each individual for his or her safety. The tree trekking staff first gave an instructional course; describing the precautions and how to best navigate, then they evaluated each trekker to make sure they are cleared to take the level they selected. Each trekker has a harness, but if you don’t ensure you have at least one clip on a cable at all times, you could fall to the ground.

My daughter’s theory was that there is no need to be scared if you are clipped in. It may be intimidating but you are secure, so go for it.

Makes sense to me.

I looked at how that theory relates to security and travel contingency planning. A security expert can give advice and build a travel risk management plan for a company or an executive, but unless they ‘clip onto the cable’, their safety could be at risk.


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