Health and Safety ReportVolume 9, Issue 4

On Topic

10 Tips for Safe Travelsprint this article

Stay safe, secure and healthy in your work travels

A quick scan of the waiting lounge at the airport tells the tale; people busily talking on their cell phones, answering their emails or scribbling notes. These are the seasoned business travellers for whom travel is a way of life. And for others, taking a work trip can be a refreshing change from the usual work environment. Regardless of which category you fall into, there are precautions you can take to make sure that you are safe, secure and healthy in your travels.

1. Find out if you require immunizations.

If you will be travelling internationally, consult a doctor or travel health clinic at least four to six weeks before travel so they can determine your need for immunizations and advise you on what preventive medication precautions to take to avoid disease.

2. Arrive in daylight.

When booking flights or travel times arrange whenever possible, to arrive at your destination in daylight. If you must arrive late evening or early morning, reserve a car service in advance to avoid having to find a cab. The conference or hotel may be able to recommend a service for you.

3. Don't forget your meds.

If you take medication for a pre-existing condition, bring enough to last the trip, and some extra in case your return flight is delayed. As a precaution, have a copy of your prescription, or a doctor's note, in case you need to prove that the medication is necessary. Consider dividing your medication supply and keeping it in two different pieces of luggage, in case one piece of luggage is lost or stolen, or carry it with you.

4. Protect your documentation.

Make sure your passport does not expire before or during your trip. Some countries require that it be valid for up to six months after your return home, so check the expiry date. Keep photocopies of your passport and visa, and keep them separate from the original copies. Also keep a record of credit cards, bank cards, and contact telephone numbers, and leave copies with someone back home. At the hotel, store your passport, airline tickets, extra money and other documents in the hotel safe.

5. Stay connected.

Establish a check-in procedure and make sure your workplace, friends or family back home know where to reach you. Give someone at home a copy of your travel itinerary and check in with them when you arrive and periodically thereafter. It's also a good idea to find out ahead of time where to contact Canadian government offices abroad.

6. Know your surroundings.

Ask the hotel for advice on safe areas to visit or walk through in the neighbourhood. They will tell you which areas to avoid.

7. Hide your valuables.

Carry your passport, travel documents, plane ticket, travellers' cheques and cash in a concealed money belt worn around the waist. Do not draw attention to yourself by displaying large amounts of cash, expensive jewellery or electronic equipment. If possible, use the bank machine more often or travellers' cheques instead of large amounts of cash. Consider carrying a second "dummy" wallet, with some local currency, a small amount of US dollars, a few old receipts, and expired credit cards to make it look real. Keep some money in an outside pocket to avoid fumbling through your purse or wallet for tips and other small expenses.

8. Watch your luggage.

Do not leave your luggage unattended or in the care of a stranger. On your luggage tag, use only your first initial - not your full name. To further protect your identity, include your business address (not your home address) and use a luggage tag that has a flap that hides your name and address.

9. Safeguard your hotel room.

Ask for a hotel room that is above ground level but no higher than seven stories up, within reach of most firefighting evacuation buckets and ladders. Ask for a room close to the elevators, and ensure it has a peephole, dead bolt and chain lock. Don't let anyone know which room you are staying in. Tell the hotel not to give your room number or name to anyone. If the hotel clerk accidentally says your room number out loud, ask to change rooms. For added security, bring a simple rubber doorstop to place under your hotel room door to prevent it from being pushed open from the outside. Close the door securely when you enter or exit the room, and check that any sliding glass doors, windows and connection doors are locked every time. Do not invite strangers or acquaintances into your room or accept invitations to others' rooms. Arrange to meet in a public location such as the hotel lobby or restaurant.

10. Prepare to act quickly.

To avoid delays in hallways, have your key or card ready to use.


More information


Partner News

Young and Aging Workers in Webinar Spotlightprint this article

CCOHS Celebrates Safety and Health Week With Free Webinars


Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week will be celebrated May 1-7, 2011 across North America. It is a time to focus attention on preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home, and in the community. The theme this year is 'What's Your Plan?'

In celebration of Health and Safety Week, CCOHS is presenting two free webinars to raise awareness of the health and safety concerns and risks to young and new workers, as well as to the aging workforce. You can make the webinars part of your own NAOSH Week activities. Just register and then gather in your meeting room and watch the webinars as a group or if you prefer, individually at your desk. All you need is a computer, Internet connection and computer speakers or headphones.

Help Your New Workers Stay Safe

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 1-2 pm EDT


Young, new and migrant workers need special attention because it has been shown that they are at more risk of injury than their older or more experienced counterparts, especially in the first four to six months of employment. Tailored, audience-specific approaches that match the needs of the workers are best at achieving higher health and safety awareness and lower numbers of workplace injuries and illnesses.

Jan Chappel, Senior Technical Specialist with CCOHS will discuss how experience has shown that a successful training or outreach program will:


  • Cover the overall training needs (health and safety rights and responsibilities, hazard recognition and control, preparing for emergencies),

  • Recognize the difference between education and training, and

  • Incorporate best practice approach for reaching young, new or migrant workers and acknowledge the differences between these groups.


The Aging Workforce: OHS Solutions

Thursday, May 5, 2011 1-1:40 pm EDT


It's a fact: the workforce is aging. Research has shown that some physical and mental changes do occur as people age. How do these changes affect the people and the jobs they do? Emma Ashurst, Occupational Health and Safety Specialist at CCOHS, will discuss what has been learned from research studies and demonstrate how specific solutions and practices can help prevent these changes from becoming problematic in the workplace.
This presentation will review aging from an occupational health and safety perspective and examine various work situations (carrying heavy loads, computer work, visual environment, chemical exposures, etc), explore the possible impact on older workers, and discuss solutions on how to keep everyone safe and free of injury.
We've told you how CCOHS is going to celebrate Safety and Health Week. What's your plan?


Learn more about and register for the NAOSH Week webinars.

You can find ideas on how you can participate on the NAOSH Week website.

Health and Safety To Go

Podcasts Look at Young Workers Safety and Noise Controlprint this article

CCOHS produces free monthly podcasts on a wide variety of topics designed to keep you current with information, tips and insights into the health, safety and well-being of working Canadians. You can download the audio segments to your computer or MP3 player and listen to them at your own convenience...or on the go!

This month's edition of Health and Safety To Go! features podcasts on summer job safety and noise control in the workplace.

This is the time of year when students and young people are busy searching for jobs, hoping to kick start their career or get summer employment. The timing is perfect for this month's episode on Summer Job Safety. Young and new workers are particularly vulnerable to workplace injury or illness, with many of the injuries occurring in the first month on the job. The reasons vary, however employers, parents and workers each have a role to play to help young and new workers stay safe on the job. Listen and learn what you can do. The podcast runs 3:37 minutes. Listen to the podcast now.

In this month's face to face episode Noise Control in the Workplace, Emma Ashurst, occupational health and safety specialist with CCOHS joins us to explain the limits of noise, their effects and how we can control them. The podcast runs 7:57 minutes. Listen to the podcast now.

See the complete list of podcast topics. Better yet, subscribe to the series on iTunes and don't miss a single episode.

CCOHS News

Employment-related Legislation When and Where You Need Itprint this article

Are you as informed as you should be about employment laws? There's a lot to know and to make it even more difficult, the laws are constantly changing. It can be challenging and time-consuming to keep current. CCOHS has compiled all Canadian employment-related legislation to provide you with easy, convenient access to the information you need, to know your responsibilities and duties under the law, and to help meet your compliance needs.

CCOHS' Canadian Employment Legislation includes the full text of employment standards, labour relations, workers' compensation, pay equity, human rights and privacy legislation. It provides supplementary documentation and guides issued by the relevant ministries to help you interpret and apply the legislation, as well as regular updates with amendments highlighted. You can find the information you need quickly and easily by searching legislation and guides by words or phrases in just one jurisdiction, or across all jurisdictions.

The service can save you time and money by literally putting legislation into the palm of your hand. You can access CCOHS' Canadian Employment Legislation on your Blackberry, iPhone, or PDA, or keep it close at hand on your desktop or laptop.

To keep you current, you receive a Monthly Update Report that highlights amendments and alerts you to the progress of upcoming legislation. You also have access to our email Notification Service that allows you to track changes to specific documents (Acts, Regulations and Guides) found in the service. Lastly, by subscribing to our RSS Feed, you will be instantly notified when new content has been added or when it has been amended, helping you stay on top of legislation changes.

Bundled with your current CCOHS Legislation service or on its own, Canadian Employment Legislation can help satisfy your requirements for current, reliable, easily accessible legislative information to help you stay compliant.

Learn more about the Canadian Employment Legislation service.

Learn more about CCOHS' other health, safety and environmental legislation services.

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The Health and Safety Report, a free monthly newsletter produced by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), provides information, advice, and resources that help support a safe and healthy work environment and the total well being of workers.

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