European Middle Eastern terror attacks underscore need for duty of care planning

Posted on Nov 20, 2015


In the wake of a purposeful act or terror or large natural disaster, the importance of active, knowledgeable duty of care planning is clear. While some events are unavoidable, businesses that plan for the potential of danger- and follow through on those strategies - can mitigate damage and keep their employees safe. The recent terrorist attacks in France and Lebanon are a stark reminder of the potential for serious harm no matter the location and the need to make the security of employees and assets a top priority.

Attacks span two continents
The bombings and other deadly assaults in and around Paris on Friday, Nov. 13 gathered worldwide attention due to both its severity and location. The widespread nature of the attacks - targeting multiple areas - and the varied methods used by the terrorists may have brought additional scrutiny and that trend will likely continue as law enforcement and military organizations analyze the events. The BBC reported efforts by France and other countries to investigate the acts of terror are already well underway and led to seven arrests in Belgium among other actions. The violence in France wasn't the only deadly attack on a major city during early November, however.

"These two violent, extensively coordinated attacks that took place within just a day of each other underscore the need for duty of care planning."

Beirut is the other important city that faced tragedy at the hands of extremists on Thursday, Nov. 12, with close to 50 people dead and 250 wounded due to two suicide bombings. The attacks in Beirut resulted in fewer deaths than Paris but still caused significant damage to the areas near the detonations and harm to those nearby. CNN said the attacks in Beirut and Paris share a major similarity in that officials suspect or have confirmation of the involvement of ISIS. The short time between the two attacks is concerning as well, with two violent, extensively coordinated attacks taking place within just a day of each other.

The duty of care considerations
The attacks are both major tragedies, ones that impact the entire world to a significant extent. That level of disruption extends to economic considerations. Business operations in the affected areas are limited and facing various limitations related to safety, facility access and other considerations. Issues with staffing in both areas face similar concerns. For business travelers in both locales, fears about safety likely arose and could worsen if those employees have continued difficulty reaching the home office and arranging return trips.

Without a strong duty of care strategy, employees and fixed assets face undue risks. Organizations that make a commitment to active threat monitoring are essentially investing in themselves. With plans in place, employees know who to contact when an emergency occurs while the company's headquarters receives up-to-date information about the events. This proactive, engaged approach improves the safety of staff traveling on business and fixed assets even when a disaster strikes with no advanced warning.

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