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Small Business International Travel Resource

Title translated into English

Small Business International Travel Resource


The Small Business International Travel Resource (SBITR) Topic Page is a content and communication innovation for NIOSH. The SBITR is the first NIOSH resource dedicated to safe and healthy business travel. It is also a gateway that networks information from many authoritative sources designed specifically for small businesses that cannot afford or have access to human resource or occupational safety and health staff to effectively manage the planning of international business travel for its employees. As a tool, it is a unique decision-making resource that guides small business owners in asking questions important to planning all aspects of work-related international business travel.

NIOSH occupational physicians and scientists working with NIOSH cognitive and communication scientists and researchers created the content. Additionally, the content was tested and reviewed by small business exemplars who were critically important in developing a product that not only disseminated authoritative information but met the needs and preferences of the target audience

  • Key message – International work travel presents unique challenges and risks. This resource provides tools and resources to protect employees when on international work travel.
  • Key graphic elements–Three navigation icons to take you to each stage of travel.
  • Call to action–Use the downloadable travel planner and tools to anticipate and address safety and health risks.

The Travel Planner provides checklists for each stage of a trip in three important areas: job, location and personal. Each checklist has questions to help identify risks, considerations and actions that need to be addressed before, during and after an employee’s trip. For example, the pre-travel checklist comprises 30 questions that address preparing for weather, language differences, health concerns, local travel and the potential for natural disasters, among others. The Planner recommends employees review their travel plan upon arriving at their destination and check in with their planner and employer via phone or Skype as conditions change every two to four weeks. Post-travel tasks include reviewing accomplishments and lessons learned with returning employees along with any incident reports.

The Travel Planner provides small business employers and their workers with a planning framework, actionable tools and evidence-based resources for safer, healthier international work travel.

SBITR’s contributions to OSH thus far include:

  • Represents a unique network, organized to identify critical resources specifically targeted to small businesses that lack resources or specialized knowledge in international travel.
  • Offers opportunities for NIOSH to work with international partners who have approached us about integrating this system with other OSH international travel efforts.
  • Provides a cognitively balanced communication model that can be used to improve use and accessibility of OSH information for small business audiences.


SBITR aims to help small-business owners ensure the health and safety of employees on international work assignments. This web resource provides a clear and concise roadmap for international work travel with downloadable tools for navigating job, location, and personal health risks.

The main topic page introduces the need being filled as well as resource benefits and how to use the resource. The resource’s organization is based on three stages of travel: pre-travel, on-travel, and post travel. And each stage of travel presents clear information on what to be concerned about regarding potential job, location, and personal challenges.

The resource notes in its introduction: Preparing your employees for international work travel before departure is crucial to safer and healthier work abroad. The opening statement is intended to connect directly to employers’ concern and highlight their responsibility for their employees. The next statement describes in simple language the problem that the resource will solve: International work locations present unique challenges and risks…. Many small businesses lack dedicated travel and human resource staff to plan such trips. This puts more responsibility for safe and healthy employee travel on owners and managers. This information is followed by a clear statement describing how the resource can help small business employers solve this problem: This resource will help you understand international travel concerns and provide you with resources to address them. You will find essential health and safety information, tools and links to valuable resources. The resource addresses employers directly and encourages them to be actively involved in completing the downloadable travel planner with their employees.


The pre-travel icon, a classic suitcase, provides in-depth information for employers and employees to consider prior to takeoff. The job section links to relevant NIOSH work hazard topic pages; the location section focuses on planning for vaccines and international health and weather risks unique to the international work location; and the personal planning section drills down to events that present a risk to travelers, such as traveling with children, pets, or pregnancy, and dealing with stress and jet lag, for example.


The on-travel icon, a plane flying across the globe, provides tips for employers to protect their employees on an international work assignment. Employers are advised to check in on their employees and schedule specific times for communication, addressing potential concerns for this stage of work travel. Employees should review their travel plan upon arrival and check in every two to four weeks as conditions change.


The post-travel icon, the statue of liberty, leads to information to help resolve any post-travel concerns. Employers can encourage employees to report on travel incidents to protect them from exposures experienced on travel post-travel and help their employees find closure. The resource suggests that gathering information post-travel can mitigate any ongoing concerns and improve upon future international work travel trips.

In addition to providing information for each of the stages of work travel, the resource also provides links to authoritative international travel resources and a page of downloadable tools. Downloadable tools include an Employer Task Timeline for scheduling key benchmarks when planning for trips abroad, a Travel Planner that the employer and employee can work on together, in addition to a personal health assessment for the employee to fill out with their healthcare provider, a packing list, a location health and safety plan, contact and emergency information forms, and incident reports.


With the looming threat of the coronavirus, a guide to help small businesses organize international travel is imperative. According to the Small Business Assistance program at NIOSH, there are approximately six million workplaces in the U.S. that have employees. Eighty-nine percent of them have fewer than 20 employees, and 79% have fewer than 10 employees. Smaller firms dominate every major NORA sector. Of the 127 million plus workers employed in 2016 in the U.S., more than 53% worked in establishments with less than 100 employees. In today’s global marketplace, many of these businesses will require international work travel assignments. Many of these firms lack the resources to plan for occupational safety and health risks. Our resource provides them with a framework and tools for planning for international work travel.


Target Group

Small Business International Travelers

Contact details Editor / Production company

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
3561 Harvey Ave, us-45229 Cincinnati
15135338368 - 216-970-3055