Back in 2020, India experienced its worst aviation crash in a decade when a Boeing 737 crash landed at the Calicut International Airport, killing 21 people. An investigative report released in September 2021 blames the disaster on the pilot, who failed to follow standard operating procedures.1
In Hong Kong, a bus driver was arrested in June 2021 on suspicion of dangerous driving after he crashed a school bus, injuring 25 people.2
This April, Taiwan experienced its worst railway crash in decades, with 49 fatalities and 200 injuries. Though the accident was caused by a construction vehicle that slid down an embankment into the train, a deeper probe has uncovered that human errors, weak oversight and mismanagement were likely contributing factors.3
Unlike some industries, transportation employees have a unique responsibility for public safety. The public automatically “trusts” that employers are hiring qualified workers with the integrity, experience and training required to safely perform their job. However, some employers in this industry are overlooking a key safety precaution that can help mitigate employee-related risk: pre-employment background checks.
The first step to risk reduction: know who you’re hiring.
Candidates may balk at the thought of a background check, but the truth is, they can claim anything on an employment application or CV. As a transportation employer, it’s your job to research those claims with a thorough background check to help ensure the information they provide is accurate and complete before you hire them for a position that could impact public safety.
Three things to watch for are exaggerations, misrepresentations and omissions. For example, a candidate may claim to have a degree at a university, when in fact, they never graduated. Others will list past jobs they’ve never held or industry experience they simply don’t have. Still others may provide seemingly accurate information, yet they omit derogatory details, such as a job where they were fired or disciplined. Or, they might exclude a prior address and work history that’s associated with a criminal record history.
If you’re not screening your transportation employees, it’s time to start.
Background checks can help reveal a plethora of untruths, inconsistencies and other information that can negatively impact a candidate’s ability to safely perform their job. For example, transportation employers can perform a basic background check on all vehicle operators to help:
- Protect passengers by identifying operators with a prior criminal history, particularly convictions for violent behaviour and sex offences.
- Promote safer public transit by understanding a candidate’s driving history, including dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Ensure safety standards upheld by identifying operators who falsify their work history, degrees or professional credentials, and as a result, fail to properly execute operational protocols.
- Protect your reputation and the safety record of your organisation by identifying candidates with a history of prior disciplinary actions at previous employers.
Information discrepancies about a candidate’s background may or may not impact their ability to safely perform the job at hand; however, at the very least, it may highlight a lack of integrity. For transportation businesses within the Asia Pacific region—the world’s most important zone for global trade and logistics activities moving forward—integrity means everything. Are you willing to put your safety reputation on the line for an employee who does not share your high standard of integrity? If not, it’s time to start background screening your employees as a practical safety precaution.
See how leading transportation employers throughout the Asia Pacific are using background checks to support industry safety by downloading our Background Screening Solutions for Transportation Industry tip sheet. We’re here to help.