This Crisis Management blog will now become a live page updated as and when we can provide useful comment and content on this active situation.
—- 26/02/2019 —-
Are you prepared for a pandemic?
It may sound like a scenario of a pc game or the latest blockbuster, but it is actually a very close reality. We have been witnessing a virus outbreak that is spreading quickly. After the first cases in China, the Coronavirus has spread to numerous other countries among with Italy now one of the most impacted. For those who are not fans of gaming, let’s clarify some real measures concerning the protection of your team while getting into the role of a pandemic survivor and being able to handle the situation.
A pandemic can occur at any time and once it starts to spread can have a global impact within weeks.
A pandemic can impact:
• The availability of your staff – both if directly infected; or if caring for a family member, or if in quarantine as a precaution;
• Your ability to travel or attend conferences and meetings;
• The availability of key Third Party contractors whom you may rely on – both within the day to day running of your facilities but also for specialist services;
• The availability of supplies. For example, as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak, anything made in China is likely to be delayed PLUS anything that requires a component from China in order to be made is likely to be affected.
Therefore the immediate requirement is to keep your staff informed of the current risk levels, what to look out for, what support is available from national medical services, and what to do if concerned.
1. Monitor the WHO webpage and Government medical advice and provide regular information reports to all staff and contractors.
2. Assess travel requirements and be prepared to minimise travel.
3. For the current situation, it is recommended that all business travel to the main affected areas is postponed.
4. Individuals travelling on holiday should avoid the affected area and should monitor themselves on their return. If they develop a dry cough or fever they should stay at home and contact medical professionals.
5. Identify sources of protective equipment and decide at what point to purchase stock. Items to include: liquid soap, disinfectant, masks, disposable gloves, tissues, bottled water.
6. Identify critical staff:
• Ensure that at least one other person is trained in their role.
• Check that their vaccinations are up to date to minimise the risk of infection if possible.
7. Identify critical supplies and alternative supplies. Be aware that any spread to areas that are essential to your business may impact your ability to obtain supplies and/or contractor support.
8. Rehearse all office staff in the ability to work from home. This is important in case the office is closed or they are placed in quarantine at home. Be aware that the situation could change quickly so personnel should routinely take laptops home.
9. Review workplace cleaning routines and quality of work.
Infection (Or Response) Phase
1. Establish a Pandemic Focal Point to provide information to senior management and staff.
2. If a member of staff (or one of their immediate family) is infected:
• Ensure they receive full medical care as soon as possible in line with national directions.
• Identify all colleagues who they may have been in contact with and consider means of isolation.
• Be prepared to advise personnel to self-isolate at home.
• Liaise with the medical professionals and comply with all directions.
• Consider moving staff to alternative roles to maintain output.
• Consider requesting support from other areas of the business.
3. If a Contracting Company reports an infection within their company which you believe increases risk at any of your sites then:
• Identify sites/personnel who may have been in contact with contractors;
• Disinfect everything in the areas where the contractor worked;
• Implement masks and gloves to be worn;
• Consider moving to reduced staff levels to minimise the risk of all staff being infected.
1. Ensure all staff are supported throughout the response and recovery phase, including welfare support.
2. Monitor international contractors’ recovery and start receiving supplies as soon as possible.
3. Re-stock protective equipment.
4. Complete lessons learned process and update Pandemic Plans.
1. The most important part of the pandemic plan is the preparation phase.
2. Re-assure staff and provide information.
3. Establish a focal point to receive concerns from staff and to distribute information.
4. Develop a communications plan to pass information to all staff both at work, at home and when travelling.
5. Develop a cleaning regime to minimise risk of infection.
6. Identify travellers and monitor them for any sign of infection.
7. Liaise with the medical authorities for information and report any concerns immediately for testing.
8. Refresh Business Continuity plans and conduct table-top or scenario training in advance.
You can download our Pandemic Planning Measures below.