Return on Prevention - Cost-benefit analysis of prevention measures

 
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Description:

This study evidences how the benefits of implementing a travel health prevention strategy significantly outweigh the operating costs. Two specific programmes have been analysed:

• A medical-check for travellers and international assignees aimed at identifying pre-existing medical issues before assigning employees to a foreign country, ensuring that employees are fit-to-work for the proposed assignment, work conditions and identifying general and work-related health problems before expatriation.
• A malaria prevention programme aimed at employees travelling and working in malaria-risk regions. Employees are given information before departure; receive prophylaxis medication and other technical protection means such as mosquito-nets, insecticide sprays and repellents as well as a malaria curative kit.
The cost-benefit analysis showed that US$ 1 invested in the medical check programme, returns a benefit ranging from US$ 1,6 (minimum scenario) to US$ 2,53 (maximum scenario) (as detailed in section 7.4.2). The malaria prevention programme reduced the occurrence of fatal cases by 70%. The benefits also outweigh the costs in the case of this programme: For each US$ 1 invested, the payback was estimated at US$ 1,34 (as detailed in section 7.4.3).

Target group:

Organisations, e.g. Multinational corporations, governments and NGOs, with a mobile workforce working remotely or overseas.

Subject matter:

This award-winning research shows the return on investment for travel health checks and malaria programmes. This study evidences how the benefits of implementing a travel health prevention strategy significantly outweigh the operating costs.

Background:

This award-winning research shows the return on investment for travel health checks and malaria programmes. Companies are increasingly sending staff on international assignments to address talent shortages, close skill gaps and fuel business growth around the world. Their employees are more mobile than ever.

However, the investment required to send employees on international assignment can be substantial; the overall average investment in an international assignment is US$ 311,000 per annum (as detailed in section 4.1)

Deficiencies in health prevention can have significant consequences for the company and the employee. In order to mitigate the likelihood of an aborted mission, a travel risk management system must be implemented.

Business travel can assume many variations in terms of type, mission, destination, and a trip’s purpose. However, any kind of travel brings about particular risks for employees. Unfamiliar environments, specific work requirements, communication in a foreign language, adapting to regional cultures, and separation from the support of the company headquarters as well as from family and friends are just a few challenges
that can add to the physical and mental stress of business travel.

When on assignment, an employee’s exposure to risks varies according to the location and the duration of the stay. Health related threats may be connected to specific issues such as prolonged periods in high-risk, remote or rural areas of developing countries. In this setting, employees face significant and continuous health risks, for example; infectious diseases, extreme climates, unsafe or poor quality food and water,
and sexually transmitted infections/diseases. A number of these environment-specific risks can exacerbate low-grade medical problems, which would otherwise not be a problem in developed areas.

All travelling employees may face difficulties and challenges when abroad. Effective and focused prevention policies are therefore needed to ensure that risks associated with employees’ missions are mitigated.

The health and wellbeing of international assignees and business travellers is the responsibility of the employer. There is a need to have clear organisational policies and strategies in place that are aimed at reducing any risks and promoting the health of employees abroad. These include defined selection criteria, preparing and educating international assignees on field conditions, enforcing preventive measures
prior to departure – including immunisation – and practices to be followed during posting such as malaria prophylaxis, antivector protection, road safety, water and food precautions, safe sex, and how to handle stress.

This study evidences how the benefits of implementing a travel health prevention strategy significantly outweigh the operating costs. Two specific programmes have been analysed:

• A medical-check for travellers and international assignees aimed at identifying pre-existing medical issues before assigning employees to a foreign country, ensuring that employees are fit-to-work for the proposed assignment, work conditions and identifying general and work-related health problems before expatriation.
• A malaria prevention programme aimed at employees travelling and working in malaria-risk regions. Employees are given information before departure; receive prophylaxis medication and other technical protection means such as mosquito-nets, insecticide sprays and repellents as well as a malaria curative kit.

The cost-benefit analysis showed that US$ 1 invested in the medical check programme, returns a benefit ranging from US$ 1,6 (minimum scenario) to US$ 2,53 (maximum scenario) (as detailed in section 7.4.2). The malaria prevention programme reduced the occurrence of fatal cases by 70%. The benefits also outweigh the costs in the case of this programme: For each US$ 1 invested, the payback was estimated at
US$ 1,34 (as detailed in section 7.4.3).
About PREVENT :
Prevent supports companies and institutions, on a day-to-day basis, to prevent workplace accidents and occupational diseases. It has a practical knowledge of hazards, risks and injury prevention within a large range of sectors of activities. Prevent invests in research and development of information and tools to facilitate and improve occupational safety and health practices. One of its fields of research is the cost-benefit of well-being at work policies.
In 2010, Prevent conducted the benOSH (Benefits of Occupational Safety and Health) project, a study aimed to evaluate the costs of accidents at work and work-related ill health and to demonstrate the incremental benefit to enterprises if they develop an effective prevention policy in occupational safety and health (OSH). The project was funded by the European Commission under the heading ‘Socio-economic
costs of accidents at work and work-related ill health’.
www.prevent.be/en/knowledge/research-project-on-the-benefits-of-osh

About International SOS Foundation :
The International SOS Foundation seeks to improve the welfare of people working abroad through the study, understanding and mitigation of potential risks. The foundation was started in 2011 with a grant from International SOS, the world’s leading medical and travel security services company. It is a fully independent, non-profit organisation.
www.internationalsosfoundation.org

Prizes won:

In 2015, the International SOS Foundation and Prevent were recognised by the Forum of Expatriate Management with an EMMA award for 'Best Thought Leadership' for their study, Return on Prevention: Benefit-cost analysis of prevention measures for business travellers and international assignees.

Publisher:

International SOS Foundation

Address:

Building 4, Chiswick Park
566 Chiswick High Road Building 4
W4 5YA London
United Kingdom

Telephone:

+442087628059

E-mail:

info@internationalsosfoundation.org

URL:

www.internationalsosfoundation.org

Production:

Energy Design Studio

Address:

Studio 49, 1-2 Courthouse Lane
Stoke Newington Road Studio 49
N16 7YA London
United Kingdom

Telephone:

+442072491881

E-mail:

andy@energydesignstudio.com

URL:

http://www.energydesignstudio.com/