Travel Risk Management Guide

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View of the airport and airplane wing from the Inside

Travel risk management is not just an option required by company executives flying to war-torn countries, although it may well involve this. Whenever your staff travel on business, to whichever destination and for whatever purpose, they face a host of risks of many types. These risks may not be limited to ones that threaten their personal safety. They may also impact on the reputation or profitability of your company. This article explains what travel risk management entails; what kinds of organisation is it useful for; what risks can be mitigated; and how a good corporate investigation services company offering travel risk management should be sourced.

 

Assessing Travel Risks Is An Essential Part Of Overall Security Risk Management

You have a duty of care to your employees. For many companies, this is limited to aspects such as health and safety in the workplace, ensuring tripping hazards are removed and safe methods of manual handling are employed, for instance. Some companies’ teams, though, face greater risks, because their roles extend to overseas travel. However, whether they are travelling to New York, Europe or further afield to one of the luxe remote resorts that are accessible, your staff are still your responsibility while they are away. International travel risk assessment is becoming increasingly important in an unstable world where terrorist incidents can happen anywhere without warning, even in countries that are deemed safe for travel by the Foreign Office. So apart from your duty of care, what other motivators are there for considering travel risk management? 

Well, sound business travel risk assessment policies can help you recruit and retain the best quality and calibre of staff, because they will understand that their security is important to you. It also shows that you are a responsible employer, which mitigates against your company’s reputation being damaged if members of your team are involved in an incident. Additionally, it helps demonstrate to insurers that you have taken all reasonable steps to protect staff. And finally, it gives employees and their families greater peace of mind, which overall contributes to their ability to do the job well. They can concentrate on the objectives set for the trip and be more productive if they do not have to exert excess time and energy worrying about their own personal safety.

 

What Steps Are Entailed In A Good Travel Risk Assessment?

Before risks can be managed or mitigated, they need to be assessed for their likelihood and impact if they occur. When carrying out a travel risk assessment, many factors should be taken into account. 

Firstly, what are the company’s objectives in carrying out the journey? Next, it’s a case of determining in detail what hazards the traveller may be exposed to; what risks these pose; and what plan of action is in place to manage them. For successful travel risk management, this involves gathering details about the individual(s) on the trip (their medical history and level of experience, for instance). Also necessary is information on their itinerary for the journey; their destination; and the kinds of activities they will be involved in while away. The destination is a key factor, as many potential hazards are determined by the country or even region within that being visited. 

Risks might include diseases specific to that part of the world; issues related to security such as the likelihood of terrorist attacks; and cultural and social differences. Environmental risks must also be taken into account, such as proximity to an earthquake region or humidity and high levels of air pollution, which might aggravate existing conditions such as asthma, for instance. It’s also vital to have details of what level of assistance is available at the destination if things do go wrong. Every trip and every individual requires its own risk assessment: there’s no such thing as a standard because there are so many variables. Also important to note is that risks can change on a minute-by-minute basis, so real-time information is essential.

 

What Skills And Experience Should You Look For In Travel Risk Management Companies?

You may have some of these procedures in place already or you may not have thought of it at all. One way that everyone concerned can have peace of mind is by hiring the services of one of the professional travel risk management companies on the market. These types of business are well practised in identifying and managing travel risks and will tailor their services to your own, unique business and the member(s) of staff involved. They will have expertise in foreign travel and contacts they can rely on for up-to-date information on changing situations in the destination country. However, don’t just settle for a company that carries out a pre-travel risk assessment and mitigates risks before departure. Your staff are vulnerable all the time they are away, so you should also look for a firm that will continue to monitor the situation in the target country for the duration of their stay; and will be able to assist if things do go wrong. If members of staff are travelling to a location where danger is ever-present, then they may need specific training in handling risks they might face on a daily basis. They may even need on-the-ground close protection from a bodyguard, so your chosen firm should be able to accommodate these aspects too. There can be no one-size-fits-all approach to managing risk. Risk assessment and management during corporate travel should be an established feature of your duty of care policy.

It is important to do your research when you are looking for the best company to assist you. Make sure you take the time to read the feedback that has been left by people that have used their services before. You can also ask the company for some case studies too. You will be able to find out about some of the threats the company faced or the worries they had, as well as the current situation within the country, and then how the company out an effective travel plan in place. Of course, for security reasons, you should expect for the names to be distorted when it comes to case studies and you may not be able to know the intricate details of the plan. This can be frustrating but it is what you would expect when hiring a company that is involved in any sort of security role. All in all, this should help you to get a good understanding of the level of quality the company provides and how high they hold privacy in regard when it comes to protecting confidential information for their customers. 

 

Close Protection Companies Can Be Part Of Your Strategy

Close protection companies offer services to organisations or individuals who are at risk either because of their work or their status in society. These groups of clients require protection from risk, whether that’s to their assets or even more critically, their lives. So what assurances should you look for in a company that offers services like close protection or travel risk management? 

In other words, what skills, abilities and qualities do a bodyguard need to keep you safe? This article outlines some features of an effective service. The first requirement is a suitable background. Training in close protection is a must, but it is an added reassurance if the individuals hired by the company have previous military or police experience.

 

What Skills Do The Best Security Risk Management Staff Possess?

Employees of close protection companies clearly need to be able to defend themselves – and you as their client – from any form of attack. Most close protection officers will therefore have had experience and training in handling a firearm. But there are, of course, situations in which it is not permitted or desirable for a bodyguard to carry a gun. Therefore, training in martial arts or another form of hand-to-hand combat is essential for being able to shield the client or otherwise neutralise an attacker. Also important is the ability to be able to drive a car or other vehicle, and not just to the average standard. Completion of advanced and defensive driving course is advisable.

To conclude, there is no denying that businesses have a lot to consider when it comes to business travel. Business is increasingly being conducted on a global basis, and so it is imperative that you carefully think about this when you are planning your operations for the year. It is sad but true that we need to ensure that our employees are protected when they go abroad. However, this can give you and your workforce peace of mind, especially when visiting certain areas or during a period of unrest or uncertainty. Plus, for certain high-profile businesses, they naturally have a target on their back because of the nature of their operations, and so nothing but a high-level security plan is going to be sufficient.


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