Health and safety considerations for travelling for work purposes

When you are travelling for work, wherever you go, you and the School are required to manage the risks to your safety and health.  We do that by asking you to complete a risk assessment which will help you identify potential problems and plan for them.


Expectations for travellers

Whenever you travel, for work or not, you should always plan for emergencies.  At the very least, you must know how to access emergency medical care, how to arrange alternative travel or accommodation, and you must ensure you have a means of paying for these if required.

 You should ensure you have adequate travel insurance.  UoE travel insurance is free and can be applied for on University Business Travel site.

UoE Business Travel

More information on booking travel can be found on the Institute Admin page

Institute Admin


Risk assessment and travel planning

If you are using Diversity Travel's self-service option, complete the appropriate form and send to Otherwise send the completed form to the relevant Institute Administrator along with your booking request.

Low risk travel within the UK

If you are travelling within the UK, and your travel method, destination and activities are low risk, you do not need to formally record your risk assessment or have it approved by the H&S Manager.  However, it still needs a degree of planning and management, as well as making your line manager and colleagues aware of your plans.  The template below can be used for this and should be submitted to Institute Admin along with your booking request and can be used to apply for UoE travel insurance.

Examples of low risk travel include:

  • Use of reputable transport operators (having checked in advance whether strikes might affect you, and having contingency plans)
  • Attending a conference
  • Collaborator meetings at other UK institutions
  • etc

Using your calendar to record your destination, contact info etc is also a good idea, simply so that we know where you are and when you are expected to return.

High risk travel within the UK

If you are travelling in the UK and any of your travel method, destination or activities are deemed as high risk, you need to record your risk assessment using the template below. It must be approved by the H&S Manager ahead of your travel.

Examples of elements that might make your travel high risk include:

  • Driving significant distances (eg Edinburgh to London)
  • Unplanned, wildcat strikes are likely in the travel or hospitality sector
  • Activities at your destination are likely to be a significant risk to your safety or health (fieldwork, experimental work, etc)
  • etc

International travel

If you are travelling outside of the UK, you need to record your risk assessment using the template below. It must be approved by the H&S Manager ahead of your travel.


How to assess risk

All risk assessment consists of planning your activity and within that, identifying what can go wrong (hazards) and how bad it would be if it did (severity).  For a travel risk assessment, you need to consider where you are going, how you'll get there, and what you'll be doing when you arrive.  Use the templates above to help you identify and plan for hazards you encounter.  They are designed to draw your attention to particular hazards you should consider, but neither are exhaustive so you should add anything else that might be an issue. 


Steps to travel risk assessment

1. Identify the hazards and assess their severity

Travel hazards are anything with the potential to cause you harm while you are travelling, or things that could disrupt your ability to return home .  Once you have identified these hazards, consider how likely they are to affect you and if they do, how severe it will be.  This can vary depending on your personal circumstances so needs to be carefully considered.

Good sources of information for travel within the UK include national and local news reports, and for international travel start with the information provided by the FCDO.

 Foreign and Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)

2. Determine control measures

Control measures are the way you respond to the hazard you've identified.  Think of the ways you will manage the situation if it does end up impacting you, with the aim of reducing the likelihood of it happening it all.  It may not be possible to completely eliminate that risk, so in that case take steps to reduce how bad the impact would be for you.   Your plans should be more detailed for the worst, most likely hazards.

3. Record the information

Use the templates above to record all of the plans you've made.  They are designed to focus you on particular areas of concern, but they are not exhaustive so add anything you need to.  Once completed, email them to your relevant Institute  Administrator or for approval.


Hazard Identified How likely is it to impact you? How severe would it be if it does? Resulting Risk Possible control measures
Forest fires in region Low risk - FCDO states these are in the area I am travelling to, but I will be staying in an urban centre High risk - fires could destroy my accommodation and/or cause serious injury


Keep up to date with local news and follow any guidance issued.
Outbreak of respiratory disease Medium risk - the disease is infectious but I will spend most of my time in conference centres/hotels which have already taken steps to control the risk High risk - I am asthmatic so respiratory illness can be bad for me High Follow all local guidance, wear face coverings when outdoors, carry medication,  practice social distancing, avoid travel to areas with high levels of infection
Potential strikes by airline industry staff High - I will be flying to my destination Low - I am able to pay for alternative transport and have no pressing need to return home so delays will not impact me Low Ensure funds available to pay for alternative travel and/or additional accommodation if needed



If you have any queries or concerns, please contact to discuss.