Travel Risk Management for Businesses

Tuesday, 28th May 2019

Travel Risk Management for Businesses

In an increasingly connected world, business travel is fundamental to the operations of many organisations. In 2016 alone the UK spent $50 Billion on travelling for business, making it the fifth largest spender after China, The United States, Germany and Japan (BTN). But what is Travel Risk Management (TRM), and why bother?


What is Travel Risk Management?

TRM is the processes and practises introduced by an organisation to manage risks that can impact them, their reputation, and employees whilst operating away from the home base. Travel risks not only exist in countries that are perceived as ‘dangerous’ but in every country around the world. The only difference is the types of threats and hazards that cause the risks. These risks may include theft, assault, robbery, and terrorism as well as natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes or medical emergencies such as Ebola outbreaks. Therefore, the aim of TRM is to minimise the organisation and its employee’s exposure to risks and to ensure that an appropriate, and effective response is established if the risks were to materialise.

It is an organisations responsibility, both from a moral and potentially legal perspective to ensure that it has a suitable TRM policy, containing clearly defined practices and procedures. There are also operational justifications for having a TRM programme, least of which is the minimisation of interruptions and disruptions. There is equally a responsibility on the traveller to understand the organisations TRM programme and to follow the procedures and practises that it contains which can include; communication strategies in an emergency or training in situational awareness, first aid and personal security.                   

Why Implement a Travel Risk Management Programme?

Some moral and operational benefits include:

A reduced number of incidents.

Minimised disruption to operations.

Contented and aware staff.

Increased productivity.

It prepares organisations for the challenges they may face.

It demonstrates a proactive approach to managing the risks and a recognition of duty of care.

There are also legal requirements for organisations to consider travel risk management. These include:

  • Where individuals owe another a duty of care they may be prosecuted under common law.This comes to effect when harm was reasonably foreseeable, there was a relationship between the two parties (such as an employee and an employer) and it is ‘fair, just and reasonable’ to impose liability.
  • The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 states that "It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his/her employees”.
  • The Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 applies “where a standard of care falls far below what can reasonably be expected of the organisation in the circumstances.”


Example: Dennis v Norwegian Refugee Council

Steve Dennis, whilst working for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) was injured and kidnapped following an attack on a refugee camp in Kenya. He was rescued four days later, but suffered a gunshot wound to the thigh and post-traumatic stress caused by the event. He successfully sued NRC on the grounds of gross negligence based on inadequate training, lack of an effective security programme and failures in the response that was provided. This case is seen as a landmark ruling in that it identified organisations had a legal as well as a moral duty of care to its staff working overseas.


Available Resources

Good quality generic travel advice, guidance and information can be found free of charge at the following websites:

However, specific advice and training tailored to your organisation and operations can also be found in the private sector.

Trident Manor has decades of experience in advising governmental, corporate and humanitarian organisations about the dangers that exist whilst travelling overseas and the sensible and pragmatic steps that can be taken to reduce the risks faced whilst travelling. This has included policy creation, staff training and emergency planning.

Please get in touch for more information on how we help you manage your risks whilst travelling or sending staff overseas on business.