14 Feb

ABTA launches new health and safety guides

To help guide Members through the myriad of health and safety challenges associated with travel, ABTA is launching two new health and safety guides. The first, which is available to Members today, is a mini-guide outlining five steps for all Members, retailers and principals, to think about in relation to their business offer and associated health and safety requirements.  The second guide, available at the end of the month, is called “Demystifying Destination Health and Safety Management” and provides a more in-depth guide to planning and implementing destination health and safety plans and systems.

ABTA’s team of experts developed the guides using input gained from years of experience working with Members, health and safety authorities, overseas governments and providers of accommodation, transport and other tourist services.

The guides highlight five key things that should be in place for an effective health and safety system:

1. A health and safety policy document
2. A health and safety statement
3. Clear lines of management responsibility
4. Robust document and record keeping
5. A clear schedule of review

Having efficient and effective health and safety policies are an important tool towards supporting companies’ duty of care to their customers and are also a legal requirement for many companies.  For consumers safety and security is incredibly important, with 89% in a recent ABTA survey* highlighting this as essential or important when booking a holiday.

Nikki White, Head of Destinations and Sustainability ABTA said: “The health and safety of consumers has to be a priority for ABTA Members, but for many it can be a complex and daunting area. The new ABTA guides will help demystify health and safety procedures as well as giving practical advice and support for retailers and principals. I’d urge all Members to review the mini-guide and ensure that they fully understand their responsibilities and have the appropriate plans in place. A health and safety problem can not only destroy business reputations, it can endanger life.”

The “Demystifying Destination Health and Safety Management” guide is intended for use in conjunction with the ABTA Tourism Accommodation Health & Safety Technical Guide, which gives specific safety guidance on accommodation safety.

A mini version of the guide is immediately available to Members to download from abta.com. The in-depth guide will be available from early March and attendees at ABTA’s Travel Essentials event, which includes practical sessions on developing health and safety policies, on 26-27 February, will receive an advance copy. For more details on Travel Essentials please see: www.abta.com/events.

*Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2008 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to September 2012. Fieldwork was conducted in September 2012.