Safety – It’s Not Just for Travelers Anymore


You have done everything you can possibly do to ensure your travelers are well educated and practicing safe guidelines and protocols while traveling. You have a high-risk destination pre-approval process in place and the ability to track and contact travelers. Your organization is partnered with at least one security and intelligence provider supporting traveler safety and health, and you regularly conduct travel risk management program resource and education outreach. Your travel risk management program provides end-to-end Duty of Care to travelers. You’ve covered it all, right?

What about the health and safety of staff who don’t “travel?” How is their safely being addressed? While their needs may differ, non-travelers deserve the same level of care and safety support as travelers.  Should companies consider providing personal safety or self-defense training to employees? You bet they should!  Here are the potential short- and long-term benefits of safety training:

  • Protecting your employees from harm
  • Morale improvement
  • Reinforced commitment to staff well-being
  • Employer-employee relationship enhancement
  • Attract and retain employees
  • More confident and engaged employees
  • Higher employee performance

While some organizations may shy away from providing physical self-defense training, it is worth considering trying a variety of approaches to introduce these discussions. Perhaps lectures or seminars on critical skills such as reaction to opportunistic crime and major events, situational awareness, survivor mindset, and non-aggressive deflection are better ways to open the door for these conversations in your organization.

No matter what approach fits your organization, always remember to consult your legal department in the planning to ensure there aren’t any liability concerns you may not be aware of.  Also consider meeting with the Human Resources team or other business areas to be sure these training sessions fit with the overall employee training program.

Regardless of the type of training, the most important reason for offering personal safety or self-defense training is to maintain a healthy workforce. Organizations should make all reasonable efforts to ensure staff health, safety and well-being regardless of where they work or how they get there.

The mission of the GBTA Risk Committee is to educate and inform GBTA and its members as to the necessity of integrating risk management into their global travel and meetings programs.

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