Proposed White Paper FERMA – International SOS Foundation – EU OSHA

FERMA proposes to publish a white paper providing the European risk managers’ perspective on the management of safety, health and security risks for work-related international travel and assignments. The paper, which would be prepared in
cooperation with the International SOS Foundation and the EU Occupation Safety and Health Agency (EU-OHSA) will provide
information and guidance on organisations’ duty of care for their workers on cross-border assignments.

Duty of care is the moral and legal responsibility of organisations to their workers, contractors, volunteers and others such as family members, especially when they are on international assignments or in remote areas of their own country. Businesses need to manage those responsibilities and ensure the health and safety of those workers through a proper travel risk management policy.

Duty of care embraces responsibilities from different business areas, functions and roles in an organisation. Various decisionmakers including senior management, managing directors, corporate security managers, travel managers, medical
directors, heads of HR, legal managers, and risk and insurance managers all have a part to play.

In 2014, the International SOS Foundation, together with more than 13 leading international health, safety and security experts including EU OSHA and national bodies, launched the world’s first global framework to protect workers travelling or on overseas assignments. The document provides strategic guidance for organisations to identify hazards and threats and manage risks to ensure the safety, health and security of their workers.

Key lessons from the document:

  • Only 32% of the 628 organisations the International SOS Foundation surveyed conducted person/location risk
    assessments prior to expatriate assignments;
  • The number of mobile workers is growing rapidly. A report by PwC Talent Mobility 2020 and Beyond estimated a 50% growth in mobile workers by 2020;
  • Companies need to look beyond direct employees and assess the risk to the whole umbrella of business travelers including volunteers, students, trainees, dependents and sub-contractors;
  • Insurance is not sufficient to ensure the health and safety of travelers.

Today, FERMA believes that educating the risk management community on this very topical subject, spanning risks such as
Ebola, Ukraine, injuries and traffic accidents, falls within its role as a leader in the effective practice of risk management.

Purpose of the white paper

The purpose of the white paper “Safety, health and security risks management for work-related international travel and
assignments – The European risk manager’s perspective” would be to help organisations better understand their duty of care responsibilities towards their employees and dependents and provide them with practical recommendations.

The document including national and European legislation and obligations, benchmarking of existing practices and
recommendations should become educational material for the risk management community.

FERMA invites experts in the field to share ideas and knowledge through interviews. If you would like to participate in this project, please contact Christel Jaumoulle at the FERMA office: