Volunteering for international aid can be an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience, however it is important to recognise that international aid and development work is not without its risks. Workers and volunteers are often in vulnerable environments and landscapes where local health support and resources are limited. The temptation to put others first and work long hours (particularly during a disaster) is very easy to do, however it is crucial that you maintain good health and wellbeing including a good work life balance when working and volunteering abroad.
Staff and volunteers should also uphold good health and safety practices at all times to help avoid preventable problems should they occur. Good health and safety helps to minimise the impact to personal, relief and project efforts. The following are important health and safety checks to minimise risk associated with humanitarian aid work.