Business travellers worldwide are becoming more astute to possible health and safety risks when abroad, and, happily, this is happening at a rapidly increasing rate.

I’ve written before that I’m lucky enough to travel quite often – one of the perks of the job, you could say. Recently, my passport has seen a fair bit of action, as some of these trips have involved some or other intercontinental flights.

Any international traveller should know that researching the in-transit or final destinations on their travel plan is a must. No, I’m not talking about the type of research that highlights the local weather, or where the best night-life activities can be found … rather, I’m referring to what travelling to a specific destination means for your personal health and safety.

Luckily, it seems that business travellers worldwide do at least recognise the importance of this. International SOS and Control Risks – the alliance that brings together two of the world’s leading medical and security specialists – notes that, on average, more than 100 business travellers and international assignees have been supported with advice each day in the past year.

In the past two years, demand for security advice has grown by almost 30 percent. More impressively, when considering the past decade, the demand has increased by a whopping 800 percent!

According to David Johnson, CEO of Security Services at International SOS, globalisation and an increasing emphasis on duty of care are among the reasons for this boom. “The necessity of robust security risk-management programmes has been brought to the forefront of the corporate agenda, and business leaders have become increasingly aware that this is an essential aspect of business resilience,” he says.

Richard Fenning, CEO of Control Risks, adds that the global workforce is realising the benefits of service providers such as International SOS and Control Risks. “Bringing together the capabilities of our two organisations has given international corporations the bedrock they need to ensure that their global workforce receives the medical, security and emergency assistance they need to be successful wherever they operate.

“We have been successful in preventing significant disruption and distress for our clients through awareness building, training and intervention,” he notes.

Indeed, since the launch of the partnership a decade ago, it has supported members with more than 5,3-million pre-travel advisories and more than 100 000 situation development/crisis alerts.

My next trip, in a couple of weeks’ time, will be to Amsterdam, capital of The Netherlands. While the most well-known risks of that infamous city might in fact be certain aspects of its red-lit nightlife (well, depending on who you ask…), it’s good to know that I’ll be among the world’s thousands of astute travellers and that information and assistance will always be available if needed.

Bon voyage!

About The Author

Gavin Myers is the editor of SHEQ Management. He’s been with the magazine for seven years.

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