Safety consultant Ton Koene of Expat Preventive advises a Dutch company about the safety of their expatriate staff in Bangladesh.
Risks remain. But I can advise the company how to carry on their operations in the safest way possible.
What have you been doing in Bangladesh?
“I have researched how a Dutch company could improve on the safety of her expatriate staff in situ. This company runs a big project in Bangladesh. I mostly looked at housing and transport. Are their houses in a safe neighbourhood? Are the houses adequately protected by surveillance? Is the procedure for admitting visitors into the office building sufficient? Are employees able to safely move from one location to another?”
“The safety situation for Western staff, but also for Bangladeshi staff, has deteriorated. Recently, a number of violent attacks have occurred. We look at the safest ways for Western employees to operate in this environment. Which measures should be taken?”
What is your conclusion?
“For now, it is still possible to work in Bangladesh, of course provided that you take sufficient precautions. For instance by bringing employees’ offices and housing physically closer together, so there will be less need to travel by road. It is also recommendable to move housing and offices to safer neighbourhoods.”
How do you look back on your trip?
“I have been able to investigate all aspects of our security policy and I have spoken with the right people. Not all risks can be eliminated, but still I can advise the company how to carry on their operations in the safest way possible. My report will contain pragmatic solutions that the company will be able to start implementing right away.”