For many workers, travel is now just part of "business as usual", and a meeting abroad is no more cause for concern than working at home. Why, then, are travel risk assessments such a crucial part of business travel policy?
Shockingly, a Control Risks Group survey from GBTA found that 46% of UK and USA business travellers work for a firm which has no clear travel security policies, and 22% report that they would have no idea who to contact in the event of an emergency abroad.
What is a Travel Risk Assessment?
A travel risk assessment should form part of your wider duty of care efforts for your travellers, and should cover all types of risk the traveller might face during their trip. Risk assessments should be customised to suit the individual traveller and their journey, as some locations may be relatively safe for some travellers but not for others.
The data from your travel risk assessments can inform your overall risk mitigation efforts and policies. Crucially, it also gives a dedicated arena to effectively communicate risk to your travellers and discuss any thoughts or concerns they may have.
Awareness of Risk
Risk awareness is key to ensuring the safety of employees working abroad. The primary goal of risk awareness is to provide information about the threats which face business travellers, such as endemic diseases, theft or contaminated food or water.
Loosely speaking, travel risk can be divided into 5 main categories: Environmental, health, travel, security and the risk specific to the tasks they will be performing during their trip. The nature of potential risks can quickly become very complex if effort is not put into communicating and developing your travellers’ understanding of them.
A travel risk assessment addresses both the issue of traveller risk awareness and helps provide a framework for communicating risk in a clear and understandable way.
Awareness of Best Practices
By performing a travel risk assessment, you gain an opportunity to train travellers in best practices for staying safe and responding to hazardous situations. Knowing what to do in a range of high-risk scenarios can build your travellers’ confidence, as well as reassure you that you can rely on them to do the right thing in the worst-case scenario.
By implementing a pre-travel risk assessment policy for every traveller, before every trip, it becomes easy to highlight deficient or superfluous aspects of existing training to better line up with likely risks. It is important that your employees know what to do, who to call, and how to prioritise tasks in a wide range of potential scenarios, from leaving belongings in a taxi to missing a flight.
Developing a Travel Risk Assessment
Developing a travel risk assessment that covers the broad range of risks that your traveller, your reputation and your data/equipment will be exposed to during business trips is not necessarily easy.
To make it easier to plan and perform your assessment, Mantic Point has produced a travel risk assessment example form. This will help to compile customised information into a single reference point, allowing you to both standardise your company’s response to travel risk management and update your travel risk assessment as necessary.
To download the your travel risk assessment form, follow the link below.