As an organization that takes on the responsibility of sending individuals abroad for mission work, the health and safety of your travelers should be one of your top concerns. No organization intends on putting their travelers in the way of harm, but what steps do you take in order to prevent accidents concerning health and safety? In an effort to help you help your mission teams, we’ve identified four things that every on-the-ground team leader should do to help keep mission teams safe.
1. Identify the potential risks
Before you ever send your mission teams out for the day, take the time to identify all potential hazards associated with the various positions. Whether your organization is engaged in manual labor, community development, or anything in between, there are likely health and safety risks associated with the tasks at hand. Once you understand what these risks are, you’ll be one step ahead of avoiding any accidents.
2. Take steps to remove or control the risks
Once you have identified potential risks, you should take steps to remove or control them. Some options may include:
- Eliminating the risk altogether by putting that job on hold
- Change the risk to reduce the likelihood of a health or safety issue
- Change the way your mission team works so that they can avoid the risk
3. Prioritize the risks
If you have decided to move forward with the task at hand, understanding that some risks are associated, ask yourself how likely it is that an illness or injury will occur if someone were to continue with that particular job. If something were to occur, how serious could it be? Using a risk factor scale could help you determine what type of person, if any, should be placed in that position.
4. Communicate with your mission team
Communication is key. Keep all mission travelers abreast of any potential risks or hazards that they might encounter. Encourage them to be on the lookout for dangers and equip them with the proper steps to take in case they become sick or injured.
5. Make sure your missionaries have travel and medical insurance
Before your mission teams depart on their trips, your organization should compare its options for travel and medical insurance. Make a recommendation to the travelers about which type of travel insurance policy they should purchase, and require proof of said policy, or be proactive and purchase travel insurance on behalf of each traveler. In the event that someone becomes ill or gets hurt it will be a relief to know that the proper coverage is in place.