There are many employees, who have to visit and work in hostile environments, often in developing countries, as part of their employ.
Their visits could be connected to humanitarian work, human rights’ law, consultancy assignments, Ministry of Defence procurement, Embassy & Diplomatic work, mining & oil engineers, journalism/media and so the list continues. Certainly, from the safety perspective, each individual would normally complete a Hostile Environment Awareness Training (H.E.A.T.) course, prior to the initial visit to an inhospitable territory. This course is valid for three years, after which the individual would be expected to attend a H.E.A.T. Refresher course. This is an updated version of the original programme. Its importance cannot be over-emphasised, since a person’s safety and security is paramount in challenging surroundings.
Consider what would happen to you, for example, if you are suddenly confronted by a gunman in a crowded marketplace.
The answer is that you could do any of those actions or inactions, if you are not properly trained beforehand. Unfortunately, the reality of terrorism is ever-present, especially when travelling to certain areas of the world, which is why the UK Government (*1) gives specific advice on their website to UK businesses, which send employees overseas to hostile environments. In fact, since employers have a duty of care to their employees, particularly those assigned to work abroad, the Government advises that businesses should consider providing employees, as appropriate, with hostile environment training. In fact, Croner-i (*2) confirms that between 3.5 and 4 million employees travel overseas on work assignments every year and supplies detailed information on their website, regarding the potential risks, faced by the UK traveller.
On 5th January 2020, Vanessa Allen wrote in The Daily Mail (*3) about the UK Foreign Office issuing serious warnings about travel to 14 countries in the Middle East, due to the possibility of terror attacks. Such warnings affect not only tourists, but business travellers as well. These warnings stopped short of warning not to travel, except to Iraq. Undoubtedly, there are different businesses, connected to some of the countries in which UK travellers are advised to be vigilant, which depend on business trips to maintain the on-going, commercial relationships. However, the dangers posed to UK business people are significant, which is why we strongly encourage you to not be complacent, but to respond to the UK Government’s good advice to undergo hostile environment training. Our H.E.A.T. (Hostile Environment Awareness Training) Refresher course is perfect for those employees, who need an update to keep them aware and vigilant in every situation. Do take a few moments to review our H.E.A.T. Refresher course on our website. Here is the Link, as below:-
(*1). Reduce Your Risk from Terrorism While Abroad https://www.gov.uk/guidance/operating-in-high-risk-environments-advice-for-business
(*2). Overseas Workers and Risk: In-depth https://app.croneri.co.uk/topics/overseas-workers-and-risk/indepth
(*3). British Tourists in Egypt 5th January 2020 (Vaness Allen) The Daily Mail https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7854821/British-tourists-Egypt-soft-targets-terrorists-loyal-Iran-says-Foreign-Office.html