Impact of pandemic on your H&S practice
I'm interested to know what changes you have made - if any - to the way you carry out your H&S role.
Some questions spring to mind:
To what extent have you been diverted onto Covid-19 duty as your primary focus?
How do you retain your operation's focus on its standard critical risks at this time?
workload 50% covid-19.. sanitizer and face mask stock getting low..suppliers trying best they can to supply and are now saying that ones in use can be reused! Likely we will introduce shift work and cut production lines back to basic commodities for consumer market and this will limit number of staff we have on site each shift.
Sourcing extra equipment for cleaning has increased within the role but what has been good is that all managers have played a part in supporting the measures taken. They each have been proactively getting the message out and discussing alternative work arrangements with staff
As I take a breather, Earthquakes, shootings, deaths, same thing, just a different year.
I work in two spaces Head and Heart and mainly working in Head.
Change is moving into about 90% Heart.
4.00am yesterday modelling payroll to keep 100% people employed on 100% pay for four weeks. 10.30pm writing letters to banks to give comfort with mortgage payments.And a pile of stuff in the middle
Past few weeks no change in practice - other than really ramped up internal communications. Its all about giving comfort to known facts. Trying to quell rumors and the latest hot tip on facebook. Dealing with hypochondriacs who are now in over drive, especially as we have 12 people in self isolation and 1 infection. Includes ramping up visibility - eg more sanitiser (even though personal health has always been the message. Its about the Heart Message, not the Head Fact). Very pleased we now got cleaner toilets and much less "Farmer-Blows". Happy days for positives!
Testing of comms to make sure all details are up to date. So that's TXT messaging services and links to internal website. Excellent - got the tardy folk finally up to speed. But checking communication lines for the troglodytes with no phones or internet.
Mental health major focus calming and stress reduction - I don't want anyone topping themsleves in the next four weeks.
Usual safety practices apply. Got through the challenge of P2 masks that we actually need for fabrication PPE. Zero time spent on "Work From Home" bullshit policy.
Extremely pleased we arent be continually hounded by Climate Change risk.
It's consumed my every waking hour, especially disseminating information through our Transport chain of Employees being an essential support industry. Drivers have emotions running high as they literally journey into the unknown. Toilet facilities are closed, no food and Dispatch is running on skeleton staff so they are stretched to answer concerns on the road. We can't get supplies to them quickly enough because they don't return to base and idiots have stripped supermarket shelves bare from the guys who help deliver their food! We're getting there under lock down so I applaud our highway heroes who leave their loved ones at home, alone.
We are currently solely focused on Covid 19 measures as an essential business
Playing an active role in business continuity / crisis management team as well as sub-set team for communications. The NZ side of the business was already preparing and had ordered supplies in modest quantities. Australia is much more complex and still only had one HR person for the whole country and one person in logistics to manage safety, so our NZ team started collaborating with AU team to share resources and ideas and help each other.
I have found myself the main COVID-19 researcher and provider of information and resources. I have been providing a lot more support to the HR manager, who has had to work through all the ER requirements. I've been creating everything from training materials, to COVID-19 health information, restricted access signs, posters, procedures. Communications to employees. Working closely with operational managers to verify site hygiene and distancing requirements (which is taking a lot of time to determine, communicate, implement and monitor). Fortunately most of the management team are very committed and very solutions oriented, so they offer ideas and help each other.
My current employer is considered an essential business, so it's really important to keep our workers safe and working. Although many managers could work from home, we prefer to be present, visible and available for employees who have no choice to work remotely. But yesterday we started seeing healthy employees coming to work wearing masks, despite expert advice against it. It was clear people were starting to feel frightened, so I spent some time listening to their concerns and reasons for choosing to wear masks.The trouble is that when other employees started seeing other people wearing masks, they started to become more anxious. One tearful employee explained to me that her trip to the supermarket the previous evening had just set her off - the sight of all those people wearing masks and queueing to enter the supermarket, etc. So we had a conversation that allowed her to safely 'download' some of her anxiety so she could carry on (she is in the office again today, so I consider that a win!).
One of the biggest challenges is trying to manage individuals who are anxiously trying to figure out EVERYTHING right now, when the only thing we can really do is to focus on the present moment and get through that.
Sheri, your last paragraph sums it up nicely. Way to much negative statistical information and media hype has contributed to public anxiety and herd mentality. Jacinda is providing clear 'keep it simple' what to do right now messaging and so should employers and their advisers.
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