Covid-19 Infection Management
Guidance on achieving and maintaining Covid secure status
On 11th May 2020 the UK Government published guidance (BEIS Guidance1) on how to achieve this and appointed the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to oversee the application of the guidance. This guidance has been updated subsequently. In response DNV has developed a guidance document that can be used to help document the risk assessment done and activities identified to help deliver a COVID Secure workplace.
Whilst the guidance was aimed at you being able to claim to be “COVID Secure”, ultimately you will have to demonstrate that you have achieved this and are maintaining it.
It is important to recognise that the guidance produced by the UK government is a generic starting point, it will be continually updated and needs to be applied to meet your specific needs. Ultimately you will be tested on whether you can demonstrate that you have done everything “reasonably practicable” to continually manage the threat from COVID on your workforce, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
“This is not about dealing with a crisis. It is about dealing with the long-term resilience of your organisation”
In our conversations with clients we are seeing a high degree of confidence about getting back up and into operations, but we are seeing longer-term concerns about how infection management can be maintained. Of particular concern are the short-term compromises that are being made to facilitate operations that mean controls may not be as robust as they were.
Within DNV we believe this is achieved using effective risk management. We have built this guidance around our Core Risk Model which results from decades of interaction with companies of all sizes and sectors, learning what they do well and helping them avoid what is often done poorly.
The intention is that following the guidance you will have:
- A clear understanding of the risks COVID-19 poses to your business and the controls you have put in place.
- Evaluated whether the controls are enough to reduce the risks.
- Defined how those controls are supposed to work and how to measure that they are doing what you expect.
- Implemented the controls and communicated their existence and operation to those that need to know about them.
- Measured their performance and assessed whether they are working as you expected.
- Revised your controls based on what you have learned.
The first four bullet points allow you to declare you are COVID Secure, but the last two bullet points allow you to demonstrate that you are COVID Secure. The review process is vital to show that you are in control.
Ultimately, COVID security is about “infection control”. This is related to:
- How exposed people are to each other.
- How exposed people are to surfaces that may carry the virus.
- The impact of a group of people developing the virus both on their own health, the health of others in your facilities and on the health of their families.
This final bullet considers the underlying health concerns affecting individuals and those they live with.
We welcome contact and feedback on the guide. It is offered free and as such is not specific to any business or sector in the economy. Please make use of it and share it – all we ask is that you attribute it to us.
1 Working safely during COVID-19 in factories, plants and warehouses, Guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed, 11 May 2020, HM Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and subsequent updates.