Travel Safety FAQs
This information sheet provides supporting information on the integration of health, safety and wellbeing principles into the Travel Policy & Procedures and Procedures of the University.
It is intended to provide guidance to management, staff & students within the University. This information is for international travel only, interstate travel is referred to in the Off-Campus Activity (including field work) HSW Handbook Chapter.
(Students should also refer to the Study Overseas website, to become part of an integrated support framework that assists with travel insurance and Faculty approvals. Registering in SMART will increase your safety overseas by letting the University of Adelaide know where you are and what you’re doing. Faculty and Advisors are available to assist you if required.)
Why do we need to consider the health and safety of staff and students who are travelling on University business?
The University has a duty of care under the Work Health and Safety Legislation, to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and students while undertaking University business, regardless of where the business activity occurs.
What is considered “University Business”?
For the purposes of the approval to travel “University business” is defined as any activity related to research, teaching or administration including field work, placements due to course requirements, Special Studies Leave (SSP) or attendance at conferences, meetings or any gathering that supports the research, teaching or outreach of the University.
The following DO NOT constitute University business:
- AusAID students returning home for leave or at the end of their studies even when paid from the AusAID grant
- Staff or students who are travelling on holiday / leave (i.e. personally funded).
What is considered to be a high risk travel destination and what are the travel advice levels?
There are four travel advice levels assigned by the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). They are listed below.
- Level 1 – Exercise normal safety precautions
- Level 2 – Exercise a high degree of caution
- Level 3 – Reconsider your need to travel
- Level 4 – Do not travel
Level 3 and Level 4 destinations are considered to be a high risk travel destination.
The travel levels assigned to countries by DFAT are available on the Smart Traveller website.
Who needs to consider the health, safety and wellbeing implications of travelling to a high risk destination?
Everyone who uses or approves University funds to travel to a high risk destination –
- The traveller (staff or student)
- The Head of School/Branch
- Risk Services (for Travel insurance purposes)
- Executive Dean/DVC&VP/COO
- DVC&VP – External Engagement
The “Request for approval to travel to a High risk destination form” which is part of the Finance Branch Travel and Entertainment Policy and Procedures, provides each staff member with a responsibility for approval (as listed above), the opportunity to recommend the travel be approved/not approved, before progressing to the next level of authorisation.
What do I need to do if my travel destination has a: Level 3 (Reconsider your need to travel); or Level 4 (Do not Travel)?
You will need to review the advice provided by DFAT on the Smart Traveller website in relation to:
- Entry and exit
- Safety and security
- Local travel
- Natural disasters
- Where to get help
- Additional information
- Complete a “Request for Approval to Travel to a High Risk Destination” Form in accordance with the
Finance Branch Travel Policy and Procedures.
(Noting that a Risk Assessment is a part of this process. You will be required to identify the specific hazards that relate to your work activity (i.e. as advised by DFAT) and indicate what arrangements you will make/steps you will take, to manage the risk of exposure to those hazards.)
What happens if there is a change to the DFAT risk rating to a high risk travel rating when I am overseas?
From time to time events will occur that raise a country’s rating to DFAT 3 or 4 (“reconsider your need to travel” and “Do not travel”). When this occurs the traveller and the University are alerted by the University’s contracted service provider.
What the traveller must do if they are already undertaking travel (in-country) and the DFAT risk rating rises to
Level 3 or 4.
- Immediately make contact with your Head of (School/Branch) via whatever means possible – email, text, social media
- Advise if you plan to end your travel and evacuate or seek approval to continue with your planned travel.
If evacuating contact your travel insurer for assistance in arranging the earliest possible flight.
- If you intend to continue your planned travel your School/Branch and Faculty/Division will need to seek approval.
What Travel Insurance services can I access?
The University provides comprehensive travel insurance and related support services for all those who travel on its behalf through Risk Services. There are two components to these services: Insurance and Emergency assistance for health or security requirements.
While overseas, travellers should carry details to access emergency assistance at all times. Details of the insurance cover and support services and emergency contact information is available from Risk Services.
Where can I find more information and advice on travel safety?
Where do I obtain more information on the Hazardous Travel Risk Assessment?
Please contact your local HSW team.