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Travel Risk Assessments

Risk Assessment for Overseas Travel

Employers have a Duty of Care to staff. To comply with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999), employers have a duty to make suitable and sufficient risk assessments for all activities, including overseas travel prior to commencing a trip. 

It is advisable to document all potential hazards, determine the level of risk associated with them, itemize procedures taken to minimize/control the risks, consider the level of risk after instigating control measures, and determine the nature of any further action.  BSI has developed a Risk Assessment form to assess the level of any potential risk involved with overseas travel. For further information, contact BSI using the details on the Contact Details page.

A consideration of hazards should include:

Health: Are there any diseases associated with the area to be visited? The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO - www.fco.gov.uk) and World health Organization (WHO - www.who.int/en/) websites list problems associated with many countries and regions. Are vaccinations needed?  Ensure sufficient time (at least 6-weeks) is allowed for the administration of vaccines / boosters and development of a protective immune response.

Do travellers suffer from any allergies such as to food or medication, that could cause problems during the trip?

Are travellers taking medication or are there any pre-existing medical conditions? It may be a pre-requisite of the traveller's insurance policy that these are declared at least 10 days prior to departure from the U.K.

Climate: Ensure travellers take appropriate clothing for the region be visited.

Accommodation: What sort of accommodation will be used during the trip? 3/4/5 star properties may be preferable to guesthouses, hostels etc.

Food/Drink/Hygiene: Any known problems with drinking water or food hygiene?

Transportation: Consider mode of transport to, from and within the area to be visited (public or private transportation?). Use of IATA listed airlines is usually regarded as being 'safe' and travellers should be wary of local airlines and air taxis.

Driving is not recommended immediately after a long-haul flight.  Travellers should ensure that any driving license is valid (and accepted) and insurance is arranged. Drivers should ensure familiarity with local driving regulations.

Crime/Security: Where possible, avoid areas noted for high crime statistics (to include robbery/muggings/terrorist activities). Passports and money (divided into more than one section and taken as traveller’s cheques whereas practical) should be kept separately in inside zipped pockets and hotel safes utilised. Most insurers issue lists of countries for which details of risk reduction measures must be provided prior to departure from the U.K.

Working overseas: A brief description of any work activities should be included within any risk assessment and insurance cover arranged in plenty of time for travel.