Tuesday 6 February 2018

GUEST BLOG: Traditional travel risk management doesn’t cut it for corporate travellers

Corporate travel has never been so diverse, travel risks so unpredictable, nor duty of care demands so onerous. Even traditionally safe destinations can’t be considered hazard-free. And in this sort of climate, blanket travel risk management just doesn’t cut it.

Business travellers need to know what they're up against
What if political instability is brewing? Anti-immigrant violence is rife?  Disease is rampant? Or cultural differences are likely to cause offence?
Employers want to know exactly what sort of risks their travelling employees may be exposed to before they send them overseas - even if they’re travelling to countries that aren't normally considered dangerous. And they won’t fulfil their duty of care obligations if they don’t identify and mitigate these risks.
They want to know about everything from where (and how good) local hospitals are -  to how evacuations will get off the ground if there’s a civil war. They want onsite medical and security risk assessments. And they want their employees to be trained to deal with, and even avoid, emergencies - with minimum disruption to their busy schedules. They also need to know if employees or their families have existing medical conditions that may need attention abroad.

Above all, employers want to protect their critical assets - their people.
Employers want to know where their people are
What if there’s been a terrorist attack in a European capital and employees can’t be traced in its aftermath? When the Paris atrocities struck, many employers struggled to find staff who were in the area, to confirm they were safe - or to find out if they were injured and needed help. Some didn't even know which country their people were in.
Mobile personnel tracking could have put an end to their uncertainty. It could have identified employees’ locations in relation to attacks, sent out alerts to defer or change journeys until risks were reduced, and issued warnings about real-time changes to both health and security threats.
They want to know how quickly they can get help in an emergency
How would an employee get medical care if local hospitals had been hit hard by a natural disaster, terrorist attack or epidemic and were turning away patients? What if roads were blocked by forest fires or anti-government protesters? Or if security escorts were needed to get an individual to a doctor?
Businesses don't just need to plan in advance for employees' potential hospital admissions, doctors' appointments or evacuations, they also need to be ready for more extreme emergencies, when local resources may not be available or extra support may be needed.
And they want travel risk management to cover every eventualityThere’s more demand than ever for flexible travel risk management solutions that encompass everything from pre-travel training and in-situ awareness, to mobile technology that helps prepare, inform and locate travellers. But there's little appetite for separate medical and security risk management and assistance products.  Businesses don’t want to battle the complexities of multiple suppliers – they want everything in the same place.
Emergencies overseas can’t always be prevented. But putting medical and security assistance hand-in-hand with travel risk management can give employers the control they need to minimise the dangers. 

This post was written by Chris Knight, head of corporate services at global assistance providers CEGA.

CEGA and security experts Solace Global are exhibiting their one-source medical and security assistance service, INtrinsic, at the Business Travel Show, stand B254. Register for your free ticket now at http://bit.ly/2qYu9GF.

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