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Hazards may include:

  • Road/track – road traffic accident (RTA) when self-driving, partner organisation vehicle or taxi/private car
  • Air – accident involving an aircraft (plane, helicopter)
  • Rail – accident involving a train
  • Sea, Lake, River – accident involving a vessel/boat
  • Public transport - accident involving a mini-bus or coach
  • Slips, falls and trips – personal injury as a result of accident on/in challenging terrain e.g. mountainous, uneven surfaces, wet ground, holes in ground, ice, bogs
  • Electrocution – caused by exposed wiring, faulty electrical fittings etc. and/or
  • Fire – in office, accommodation, university

Travel associated hazards pose some of the greatest variety. There are general risks associated with any type of travel; accidents due to speed, adverse weather conditions, and mechanical faults however there are also more serious travel risks. Depending on the location you are in and if these are applicable you may need to include a thorough plan of how you will reduce the likelihood of these threats occurring.

Hazard Description and Personal Vulnerabilities


  • Consider how much travelling you will be doing and your mode of transport. If you will only be doing limited travel e.g. reputable public transport to site then you do not need to be too extensive; demonstrate situational awareness, the actual risk of you being involved in an accident either as a pedestrian or passenger. Continue to list further hazards as demonstrated below if you are going to be undertaking extensive travel or if you are travelling within an area with, for example, with a higher rate of road traffic accidents.
  • Check whether road travel within the area you are visiting is considered particularly hazardous (use FCO site and other online information to help guide you).
  • Are there any areas that should be avoided entirely?
  • Consider high accident rate, fast moving traffic and public transport hazards e.g. problems caused by severely over-crowded public transport in some areas.
  • Will you be doing any driving?
  • Are vehicles likely to be properly maintained?
  • False vehicle checkpoints – are these problematic in the area you will be visiting?
  • Is it a legal requirement for motorists to carry any extra equipment in the event of an accident or emergency e.g. red warning triangles? Some countries require that you carry a spare wheel, and a full set of spare light bulbs plus the tools to change them. If you have to leave your vehicle due to an accident or breakdown, or while awaiting the arrival of the emergency services, you may be required to wear a reflective jacket. Failure to do so could result in a heavy fine – if you are going to be driving then check the rules and list anything relevant in your assessment.
  • Sea travel: the threat from piracy in some areas.
  • Sea travel: strong currents, high accident rate.
  • Will you be travelling on any airlines that are banned from operating in the EU?

Slips, trips and falls - describe when and where you will be most exposed to unfamiliar terrain:

  • Identify the danger of slipping on wet ground.
  • Identify the risk of injury from fallings rocks.
  • Demonstrate how likely/severe the risk of accident is if working on mountainous terrain.
  • Personal vulnerabilities– are you physically fit enough to cope with the demands of the terrain you will be working in? Will you require any extra support to cope with the demands of the work?


  • Ascertain the layout of accommodation and work site and risks that this may pose in an emergency.
Control Measures (actions to reduce risk level)


  • Adhere to basic travel safety, for example, obey speed limits, use reputable travel companies and comply with road safety laws, use seat belts, have no loose objects in vehicles.
  • If hiring a car check licensing rules and other regulations that may be applicable – list what measures you have taken.
  • When necessary, drive a good four wheel drive vehicle with tow rope and shovel.
  • Be vigilant at all times as a pedestrian.
  • Avoid using a bike/motorbike in certain areas and without a motorbike license.
  • When reliable public transport is unavailable, consider taking a taxi through a reputable firm – please indicate if you will be using a particular firm for the duration e.g. renting a car with driver from an established company.
  • If danger of overcrowded public transport is identified then avoid getting on a too crowded bus/metro in certain areas and explain how you will do this e.g. travel at quieter times of day.
  • Do not travel if adverse weather, natural disaster or if civil unrest is known.
  • Avoid night travel in certain areas.
  • Avoid travel to certain areas entirely – list those you will avoid.
  • Consider the use of armoured vehicles and personal security where necessary.
  • Check it is safe to travel before doing so and indicate what resources you will use to check this.
  • Travel with colleagues in secure vehicles (that check for car bombs) where necessary.
  • If road travel is not safe will you be flying by plane to other locations? Please indicate.
  • False vehicle checkpoints - Include how you will recognise and avoid these. Do you need extra training? List any extra training you have received.
  • Exercise on long haul flights to avoid deep vein thrombosis.
  • If it is fundamental that you travel by sea on a route well known for accidents or strong currents list the safety features of the boat, what training you will receive from the crew and what the emergency procedures are.
  • Sea travel: The threat from piracy in some areas – where should be avoided entirely and how?

Slips, trips and falls:

  • Indicate that suitable clothing/footwear will be worn.
  • Work will not be undertaken in poor light conditions where the ground is uneven.
  • List of sensible precautions you will take to avoid accidents e.g. remaining aware and observant to your surroundings if working on wet ground.
  • For more extreme hazardous terrain list protective equipment you will use to minimise risk.
  • List specialist equipment that will be used.
  • Have you undertaken work in similar terrain before – what risk prevention measures were most effective previously?
  • Include details of specific training you may have undertaken to be able to carry out your work safely e.g. mountaineering.
  • Prepare in advance if you hope to obtain extra support to cope with the demands of physical work from e.g. your department, the DRC.


  • Be aware of local fire drills and escape routes.
Useful links

Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for Driving abroad