Covid. S6 Controlling Risk
On other threads I reckon there is essentially zero risk of Covid entering my workplace.
But another thread a forum member has suggested there is a very very low risk. So on that basis what controls should I put in place. S6 of the Regs is my initial go to point. But first I''ll refresh my view of "Reasonably Practicable or S22 of the Act
22A Likelihood. Pretty much nil or next to non-existent
22B Degree of harm. Well, its not "death" because I don't employ aged people with underlying health conditions. And if an employee was to be come seriously ill then our health system has empty ICU beds waiting to give the person the very best treatment. So at worse I'm looking at a bit of time off work.
22C. Well I am trying to stay as informed as possible.
22D. I've established it can't be eliminated but I'll consider other means to minimize risk. Subject of course to:
22E cost associated with those means
So now back to S6
I can't eliminate something that for all practical purposes doesn't exist, and if it does there's nothing that I can do that will eliminate it. If I could I would be Chief Medical Advisor or boss of WHO!
6 (3) a. Well I can't substitute the risk
6 (3) b Isolate the hazard. Well ....... I have just done that for four weeks at a cost of M$XX's and nothing has changed. I am still in the "safe Zone" (I don't consider "Physical distancing" an appropriate control measure - people can still move together. Unless its some kind of physical barrier this won't work. And I am not putting physical barriers in. We wouldn't say to a person "just stay away from that exposed moving circular saw blade" would we!))
6 (3) c Engineering controls. I already have hand washing facilities available so all good on that front. Also have air extractions and ventilation. Tick!
At this point I am also going to play my S22E "Cost" card. We have already spent millions on the isolation stage. I reckon thats a pretty good suck on the sav. I could of course take the relatively cost free "stay at home" approach to isolation - but if I implement this then I risk an employee's safety through harm due to lack of income, domestic violence and/ or mental stress. So I would risk doing more harm than good - and that is a very real risk.
So basically I am going to do nothing under S6(3)
So now to S6(4) Admin controls. I see these as totally ineffective. Filling out forms / thermometers does not serve any purpose. Asymptomatic people will still slip through. Training? Already done the hand washing / sneeze etiquette, Housekeeping - already have cleaners etc in place. So I am not inclined to do anything here.
And in any case I'll play my Cost Card again. 1 minute filling a form out is 1 minute not being productive. That has a cost and $millions have already been spent.
And finally to S6 (5) the dreaded PPE. WHO says "
If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
". Nope - we don't do that.
What about people who are coughing and sneezing - well I am partly relying on S45 (d) of the Act here. That is, an unhealthy worker will take reasonable care not to affect the health of others by staying at home. And if that person comes to work I might send them home - i'll look at their position in the business and weigh that against the four weeks I have already paid to have them off work.
Other than that I reckon I am pretty well done. No controls needed and its back to work we go. Hi ho, hi ho
A reasonable worked example for your company
The only thing I would add is the continuous review of if the risk has changed and the controls mentioned are in place and working as intended... but in saying that, that is basically H&S Management 101 anyway so I would assume you didn't mention it because it is Business-As-Usual rather than actually forgotten about!
Yes Matt. Continuous review is a given. I'm working on the basis of a weeks buffer to the end of Level Four close down. More information will come to light over the next few day (like only 2 new confirmed cases today so even less risk) and of course the situation may change post 22 April.
Astounding the number of people/business who continue to fail in critical thinking or any understanding of risk assessing chance of getting infected with covid 19. Height of stupidity is NZ post. During level 3 I went to buy packaging for 2 local parcels and 1 packaged international parcel. They had removed tables and pens where you package your items so that people do not linger. Instead I cued up to purchase said items. Then went out to the car to package and write address. Came back in and cued again to get them weighed and posted. Then was told they couldn't take my parcel to Australia as planes are not flying so they are not taking any international mail. I said what do you mean planes are not flying freight is still going back and forth, only by boat I was told, so home I went with jacket trying to send to grandaughter in OZ. Checked their website no mention of not taking international mail or boats. Phoned another post office the next day, dropped granddaughters jacket off there and today, two days later glad to see tracking shows it on a plane to Australia. Me thinks things are going to get more stupid before we see light at the end of the tunnel - just my thoughts and frustrations pleased to say senior management and HR where I work are now saying business as usual.
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