Following the news that gunmen have attacked a guesthouse in the Afghan capital of Kabul, killing a German woman and an Afghan guard beheaded, we’ve been discussing whether organisations need to reinforce their duty of care to personnel and employees.

According to the Afghan Interior Ministry, a Finnish woman is also missing and has possibly been kidnapped and at least 10 other people were injured in the ambushes in the Zabul province of the city.

Explains Paul Weldon, managing director of The Panic Room Company: “The guesthouse is reportedly run by a Swedish NGO – Operation Mercy – and those people who have been killed and the lady who is missing are all employees.

“This attack is the latest in a long line of such incidents and, since Afghanistan is continuing to experience an ongoing insurgency by the Taliban, it almost probably won’t be the last.

“So, what can organisations like Operation Mercy or companies whose employees are required to work in such areas that are prone to such extreme violence do to prevent a repeat of this attack? Improving and enhancing personal security with extra bodyguards is one measure as is additional security training for employees. Could the implementation of an improved infrastructure in the shape of safe rooms or safe areas also be an option with the adaptation of selected guesthouses or hotels in the city to accommodate these personnel?”

Concludes Paul: “I’m certain such organisations will carry out an international risk assessment which will take into account political, medical and security risks before their people travel to cities such as Kabul. But should this duty of care now start to be extended to additional investment in secure places for personnel to both work and stay while they are in these cities?”