The Global Business Travel Association projected a 3.5 percent increase in 2017 on corporate travel spend, indicating that staff will continue to take on overseas assignments or travel abroad for short business trips, and with governments around the globe implementing legislation to ensure that workers outside of the office are protected, organisations require a cost effective and easily deployable solution to manage employee travel risks, from tracking and emergency alarms, to full incident response and management.
But what are the risks?
When your staff travel abroad they face a variety of risks, often while in surroundings with which they are unfamiliar, with few reliable contacts to call for help, and minimal knowledge of the location of police stations, hospitals or their country’s embassy.
Employers owe all staff a duty of care, and as such they need to consider the risks to the safety of staff travelling abroad for work, and implement not only a tech-based solution but also procedures that ensure staff are kept as safe as possible.
Below I break down what I consider to be the top 5 risks for employees travelling abroad, which range from minor issues, to incidents that might require emergency evacuation:
1. Political instability and civil unrest is a significant risk to travellers engaged in business in high risk locations, often emerging markets. Previously safe environments can change quickly, for example the coup d’état attempted in Turkey on 15 July 2016. These type of events require immediate action to ensure your employee is safe and in some cases an evacuation would need to be organised.
2. The risk of a terrorist event occurring while travelling on business is relatively low however recent events in the likes of Paris, Brussels and London has resulted in workers growing more aware of the risks they may face.
3. Issues affecting health, which can be common ailments like food poisoning through to the extreme such as a heart attack of virus outbreak. Suffering a heart attack would be worry enough if your employee were at home with family close by, but what if he/she was an 8-10 hour flight away from loved ones and comfortable, familiar surroundings?
4. Thousands of travellers are affected by crime each year, and although the majority are petty crimes like theft, these can still have a huge impact on your staff member. Imagine being stuck without your wallet, with no cash or bank cards in an unfamiliar place…
5. Most businesses have at least one “rogue traveller” who fails to follow the policies put in place for his or her own protection. This risk may be somewhat “self inflicted” but you still have a duty of care to this employee to make every attempt to keep them safe and to support them in an emergency.
At Restrata we combine the experience off our BSOC staff and the wider Restrata team to provide travel risk reports to your international business, to keep your travelers and expatriates safe.
In addition, we have developed an app based solution to improve safety for staff travelling abroad. The solution is easy to set up and deploy, and works with the majority of smart phones, which keeps costs to implement low.
The solution actively facilitates compliance with government health and safety legislation in many countries around the globe. Feel free to contact us with any questions.