Risk, Safety and Security
Despite the challenges of maintaining a diffused global workforce during COVID-19, the program continued to deliver safe in-person deployments across a wide range of complex environments.
The program maintained insurance coverage and an evacuation capability through health and security services firm, International SOS, allowing operational independence without the issue of Letters of Assurance. This was achieved through close interaction with insurers and International SOS, and a proactive risk management approach. Careful pre-departure screening was also key and, as the COVID-19 situation developed, RedR was able to retract some of the restrictions initially put in place. Notably, the decision to not deploy experts over the age of 65, which was implemented in FY20, was reversed as vaccinations were rolled out globally and in Australia.
This year also saw the successful deployment of two frontline medical staff to support the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh. This presented new challenges for RedR and required some changes to standard risk management processes but presented a valuable learning opportunity. A better understanding of exposure to clinical risks and the ability to work on niche insurance solutions, set the foundations for future deployments of this type.
Other risk management improvements included an upgrade in RedR’s staff safety monitoring software and the development of incident reporting guidance and a Risk Management Overview for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Posts.
Although there were five confirmed cases of COVID-19 among deployees across the year, the number of significant safety and security incidents remained low with no medical evacuations required and only one incident (of any severity) reported for every 20 deployment months.
The program risk management architecture remains flexible to support our current deployees in the field and adapt to future challenges.