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Lone Workers Travelling Overseas: Insurance, Medical and Safety

Employees Working Abroad

This two-part blog series discusses some important considerations for employers when sending their employees overseas. In our previous blog, we discussed preparation and calling for help. This second part will discuss insurance, medical advice and safety.

Insurance

Are employees covered for the countries they are going to? In more extreme cases, do they need kidnap and ransom insurance? Do they need special cover for medical emergencies, including repatriation? Are they insured for driving if hiring a car? Consult with an insurance provider and ensure the necessary cover is taken.

 

Medical

If they are taking medication with them, they should check that it is acceptable in the country being visited. Some countries may require original paperwork in support of some medicines. Before going employers should also check for any particular health issues in the country being visited. This will ensure that employees can seek vaccinations or injections for particular diseases prevalent in the country. 

 

Safety; personal and possessions

Employees will need to keep their possessions safe and out of sight, particularly passport, mobile phone and money. They should retain them in a safe where possible and not take them out in public except when they need to. Employees should also keep to the main populated areas, and be careful where they go and what is going on around them at all times.

It is best they have two sources of money, held separately, in case one is stolen/lost.

 

Other resources

At a higher level, there are services which will show, from tracking information on devices and apps, where your employees are anywhere in the world. If there is an incident, natural or man-made, they will enable you to see who is in the area and send warning information on the incident to those who might be affected.

There are also companies like International SOS providing medical and travel security risk services on a global scale. Several companies also provide training.

 

10-point checklist

Research the situation concerning the security, customs and practices in the country being visited.

1. Are there issues regarding organised crime, human rights, bribery and corruption and terrorism risks?

2. If the country represents a high level of risk do you need to consult a specialist company or perhaps send two employees?

3. What are the arrangements for dealing with a medical emergency? How will the employer be notified?  

4. What is the number for calling the emergency services direct? What are the local rules regarding their response?

5. If the employee has a lone worker device or app which is monitored by a UK ARC, what instructions will be given to the operator to enable a call for a response to be made? E.g. an in-country contact.

6. Are visas required?

7. Does your mobile provider operate in the country?

8. Is the necessary insurance in place?

9. If the employee is taking any medication, check they are allowed in that country and if any supporting paperwork is needed. 

10. Are any vaccinations needed?

 

Written by Patrick Dealtry

 

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