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Published: May 25, 2018

Events at home and abroad, such as terror attacks in London and Manchester, US mass shootings and the use of a nerve agent in Salisbury, are changing the way employers view risk, making it a higher priority and a greater concern.

Pilgrims Director Global Operations, Richard Lovell-Knight, explains: “Unpredicted attacks, in Europe as well as in traditionally higher risk places, have meant we have seen an important change over the last two years in the way most employers see risk and their accountability to their staff and stakeholders.

Businesses are increasingly facing up to their responsibilities, from the workplace itself to staff on a business trip or even just travelling to and from work. Events have caused employers to ask questions about how far their duty-of-care, and their duty to manage the associated risks, should extend.”

Lovell-Knight says 'security' is becoming less of a useful term in this context and is being replaced by 'duty of care’ in the context of ‘risk management’. Many employers are asking security companies and consultants to inform and train all staff, including stakeholders to whom a duty-of-care is owed, and not just their travellers or those in the traditionally higher risk roles, in keeping safe wherever they are, even at home.

“Organisations would not be spending money on this kind of training”, he added, “unless there were a business need to do so. Part of this is for reasons of business continuity, and part a simple duty-of-care in the face of gathering and disparate threats and people feeling increasingly vulnerable, disempowered, and under-informed. However, it is clearly a shared responsibility between the employer and the staff or stakeholder concerned to enable that person to be looked after and to look after themselves. The onus is not all on the employer, but the employer needs to be seen to take sensible and proportionate steps to educate and protect.”

For bespoke advice on a range of ways to meet duty-of-care requirements and support staff in being better prepared, contact