How to Perform a Travel Risk Assessment
Posted by Mike Atherton on 19 April, 2016
When performing a travel risk assessment, you must collect and analyse information about your traveller, their destination, travel itinerary and modes of transport.
A pre-travel risk assessment can form a key part of your duty of care and help you gain a holistic view of the risk a given traveller faces. Concerns include the length of the trip, specific issues associated with the destination and the traveller’s state of health and fitness to travel and to work abroad.
The results of the travel risk assessment will give you a starting point upon which you can develop policies and procedures to help ensure each traveller’s needs are met and risks mitigated and will ultimately inform your travel risk management strategy. The magnitude of each element of risk should be weighed against the difficulty and expense, plus any other disadvantages, of providing or taking the corresponding precaution.
A thorough travel risk assessment can be a long and involved process, due to the research required, but if you have travel risk management software, you may find that many of the steps are automated for you. Good software will also help to ensure that you have the most up-to-date risk information and assist you in keeping eyes on your traveller throughout their trip.
Issues can be broadly split into 7 key areas of consideration: Pre-planning, environmental, health, transport, security, equipment, and task-based.
• How will the traveller be travelling to and from their destination?
• Is there any additional insurance requirement?
• Is there a record of emergency and/or next of kin contact details?
• Does the traveller know local emergency services contact procedures?
Environmental Travel Considerations
• Does the traveller suffer from allergies that could be heightened in this environment?
• Are there climate issues to consider, e.g. extreme heat or cold, intense sun, desert conditions, monsoon risk?
• Is there a natural disaster (earthquake, volcanic activity, hurricane, avalanche) risk?
• Is there a heightened animal risk (venomous animals, biting insects, rabies)?
• Are there issues with the area’s water supply and/or issues with basic food hygiene standards?
Travel Health Considerations
• Are there any vaccination requirements for the trip? If so discuss and advise.
• Does the traveller have a first aid kit or need one provisioned?
• Does the traveller have any pre-existing medical conditions?
• Do the traveller’s fitness levels pose any issues?
• Will disabled access need to be provisioned for?
Travel Transport Considerations
• Will the traveller be driving? If so, confirm insurance and valid driving licence
• What are the local road regulations?
• Does the traveller have a good understanding of health issues relating to travel, particularly long haul, such as jetlag, tiredness and deep vein thrombosis.
• Does the traveller understand any and all luggage restrictions?
Travel Security Considerations
• Is the traveller aware of the company's lone working policy (if applicable)?
• Will the traveller be carrying valuable items or large amounts of cash?
• Is the destination at heightened risk of civil unrest?
• Are the crime levels unusually high at the destination?
Travel Equipment Considerations
• Is any equipment required? If so, assessment and, if necessary, maintenance should be performed or scheduled.
• Is equipment compatible with the destination's infrastructure, laws and policies?
• Are there any specific risks associated with the tasks the traveller will be conducting?
• Will there be any communication or language issues?
At each stage, the assessor should explain all risks factors that the traveller may be exposed to and ensure that the appropriate level of information is given to help them to mitigate and manage these issues.
To help you perform your travel risk assessments, download our free interactive travel assessment form that can be easily customised to work for your brand.