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Safety And Security Of Workers Abroad - Out Of Sight, Not Out Of Mind

Safety And Security Of Workers Abroad - Out Of Sight, Not Out Of Mind

In the published Investigation Report conducted by Statoil into the horrific terrorist attack that occurred on In Amenas on 16 January this year it is clearly stated that companies like Statoil now face serious security threats.  One of the main conclusions of the Statoil investigation stated:

“Neither Statoil nor the joint venture could have prevented the attack, but there is reason to question the extent of their reliance on Algerian military protection.  Neither of them conceived of a scenario where a large force of armed attackers reached the facility.”

As we said in our earlier blog on the subject, what happened at the In Amenas gas plant was a game changer: companies no longer face the hypothetical threat of terrorism in these areas; these threats are now real and, more importantly, foreseeable.  Employers in the UK cannot avoid the general duty to take reasonable care to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees simply because their employees are overseas.  Neither can they delegate responsibility to clients, subcontractors or agents.

Where a potential threat exists careful monitoring of the situation is required.  Using data gathering, assessing the risks and ensuring appropriate emergency response plans are in place are just some of the steps that need to be taken.

Don’t get caught unprepared. We are happy to discuss your particular concerns and advise on the steps you need to take.  Whether you want us to review risk assessment and emergency plans or comment on how your responsibilities are affected by contractual arrangements with clients or contractors we can help no matter how far you intend to travel.  Don’t let your employees be out of sight and out of mind.

Lynne Gray

Burness admin