DS Security is all about keeping your people and your property safe. Our last blog followed on from the tragic event in Westminster and it seemed only right that this one continues the theme of looking after your people.
With more and more businesses looking to trade internationally, we asked our partner company, Shield Associates, to provide a safer travel guide. We hope this proves to be useful for you…
Safer Travel Guidance – For managers and staff
Last year the Foreign and Commonwealth Office provided assistance to more than 23,000 British nationals who travelled abroad. As an employer or employee are you prepared for travel and do you undertake a risk assessment in relation to your travel arrangements?
The top 6 Security and Safety Recommendations when travelling abroad:
Are you fit to travel and properly vaccinated? If you fall ill, suffer an accident or attack what is the process of your organisation to get medical treatment. Risk factors that could affect your health:
- mode of transport (inappropriate for activity undertaken?)
- destination (political, cultural or religious implications)
- duration (long enough to complete business?)
- season of travel (weather implications)
- standard of accommodation (low class hotels often lack adequate security)
- behaviour of the traveller (understanding customs and dress codes)
- underlying health of the traveller (travelling with pre-existing conditions?)
Many business or tourist travellers are affected by crime and more recently the FCO highlighted that UK citizens were victims of 291 cases of rape and sexual assault whilst travelling abroad. Simple precautions and research on your destination will keep you safe i.e. scams and types of crime prevalent for your country of destination, personal safety awareness and, if possible, training.
3. Political instability and unrest
Political instability and civil unrest is a significant risk that is specific to business travellers. Again, research and preparation prior to travel can lessen the risk and improve your safety and security. Close protection and trusted local contacts should be a consideration in line with your risk assessment.
The risk of a terrorist event occurring while travelling is, though extremely unlikely, a major concern to both the business traveller and tourist alike. The recent events in Paris, London and Tunisia are a reminder that all travellers need to be aware of their surroundings and what to do in the event of being caught up in such attack. The UK advice around crowded places and the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ publicity campaign offers practical guidance of what to do if caught up in a terrorist incident.
5. Road and pedestrian accidents
The World Health Organisation, in their 2015 report, highlighted that there were over 1.2 million road related deaths globally. In almost half of these cases the victims were motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, i.e. those without the protection of a vehicle around them. Crossing roads as a pedestrian and looking the wrong way for traffic is a common incident when abroad.
6. Careless travellers
Managers or staff who ignore company protocols or guidance, especially in relation to their own risk assessments (e.g. getting drunk while abroad, travelling to areas that have been identified as a higher risk).
Considering these security and safety tips, have you prepared yourself for travel by conducting a risk assessment, sought specialist advice and checked company policies when considering travel to the many destinations you visit to promote your business interests. Have you visited the FCO website and researched the local and cultural differences within that country? You could also sign up to FCO email alerts which warn you at the earliest opportunity of potential threats.
Other questions to consider:
- Have you got a point of contact within the UK in case of difficulties, even out of hours?
- Are you expected to make regular contact?
- Are responsible people aware of your daily travel plans and itinerary?
- Have you got GPS facility on your mobile phone?
- Do you know the address and contact details of the British consulate or embassy in the country you are visiting?
We hope this proves useful for you.