Travel Safety and Security for the Global Worker

Authored by: Thomas P. Fuller

Global Occupational Safety and Health Management Handbook

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138626720
eBook ISBN: 9780429056475
Adobe ISBN:


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The increased globalization of business, industry, and agriculture requires an ever-increasing number of world workers and employees to travel internationally. The number of workers traveling abroad is expected to increase by 50% by 2020 (PWC, 2010). These workers on extended duty beyond the borders of their homelands are subject to many risks unlike and greater than most that they see in their daily lives in their home countries. The average total cost of a 1-year international assignment is US$311,000. The average cost of a failed international assignment in terms of productivity, reputation, medical evacuation, and other costs is up to US$950,000 (SOS/IOSH, 2016). These workers represent a valuable asset to the organization sending them abroad, but it is argued that employers also have a duty to care for these workers’ security, health, and safety beyond the actual workplaces in these foreign countries while they are on assignments. This chapter describes many of the risks that traveling workers may be subjected to, and the responsibilities that employers have to protect them while working abroad. It also provides sources of accurate information regarding travel risks. It identifies programs and procedures to minimize and control risks, in addition to responding to emergencies.

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