A Note from David Smith on Recalibrating EHS during COVID-19 and Beyond

August 20, 2020 David Smith

As I sit here reflecting on the events that have transpired since March, I want to send my best wishes to everyone during this time of ongoing uncertainty.

I’m based in Melbourne, Australia, where on Sunday, August 2, 2020, the Victorian Premier officially announced a State of Disaster. All non-essential businesses would close as of the following Wednesday. Curfews would be imposed, 5-km leave limits from home enforced, and essential businesses would need to comply with new COVID-19 safe workplace regulations and requirements to operate after a second wave quietly rushed through our homes and communities.

Unfortunately, this second wave has been allegedly attributed to inadequate health and safety precautions, protocols and procedures for the management of hotel staff and security at the quarantine hotels across metropolitan Melbourne. As a result of this oversight in health and safety protocols, aged-care facilities, abattoirs (slaughterhouses), schools and retailers are just some of the many places and spaces that have seen the consequence of this ongoing health crisis, and undoubtedly many more industries will endure ongoing repercussions.

A look at the recent breakdown of types of workplaces affected by the latest Victoria outbreak gives us an indication that more needs to be done in the realm of workplace health and safety during the pandemic.

 

While Victoria may be the most locked-down place in the entire world right now (yes, it’s true), we cannot forget that workplace health and safety during this crisis impacts everyone. It may feel liberating to have restrictions finally lifted, and for a moment it can feel like business as usual. However the events playing out in Victoria are a stark reminder to every business owner, every EHS manager, and every risk professional across the world – this could happen to you.

This could be your business.

This could be your community.

This could be your workforce and your customers.

Just take a look at what’s transpiring in New Zealand after 100 days of being free of COVID-19, or France’s doubling of infectious cases in recent weeks, and Spain once again reaching a critical situation. Ensuring the safety, health and wellbeing of your people is critical, now more than ever. It’s not the time to cut corners.

As daunting as 2020 has been, there is a silver lining. The pandemic has forced organizations to adopt necessary digital transformation to transition into the next age of business. We’ve been forced to think differently, be agile and innovate in the moment. As I recently shared, the journey to the next normal will require a strategic and integrated approach to ensure the operational resilience of your business as well as the health, safety and wellbeing of your workers.

Here at SAI Global, we know what you do next matters. We have been focused on how we can adapt our risk management and EHS technology to best support our existing and new customers during these strange times. Our newly launched SAI360 Covid Essentials Pack + FastStart is designed to maximize worker engagement while enabling you to achieve value from your risk management investment as quickly as possible – because, today, these are both business imperatives.

Our comprehensive, future-proof software and mobile app can help you maintain visibility of EHS risks now and down the track. It includes three purpose-built modules to recalibrate health, safety and wellbeing to help organizations manage COVID-19 cases, log employee movements to aid contact tracing, and support ad-hoc and scheduled checks and surveys on health, wellness and safety across your business.

By applying the fundamental and simple principles of Plan, Do, Check, Act to your planning for a safe and sustainable return to work, EHS and risk professionals can help cover all the management system bases and minimize inadvertent risk blind spots within your organization.

Our FastStart implementation helps you accelerate your journey to the next normal so that you can use the Essentials Pack in a matter of weeks.

While this may be an anxious time for some, be assured that the team at SAI Global is here to support your business through these challenging times. If your team is looking to digitally transform the way you manage and operate EHS within your business, please reach out to us so that we can help you pave the path forward to the next normal.

 


Visit our pandemic information center, which includes reading materials, podcasts, shareable videos, and best-practice guidance around managing business continuity, compliance, workforce health and safety, and risk management as we all navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

Get the details on SAI360 Covid Essentials Pak + FastStart and request a customized demo.

Read more: The COVID-19 Risk Arc: A Map to Navigate to the New Normal

About the Author

David Smith

David  Smith is Commercial Director EHS at SAI Global. A seasoned EHS, sustainability risk management professional and thought leader, David has more than 20 years of experience delivering EHS strategies for leading organizations across a wide range of industries, including energy, defense, pharmaceuticals, and financial services. As part of the EHS portfolio at SAI Global, David utilizes his EHS practitioner perspective to help drive product innovation, the commercial growth of the portfolio as well as helping to identify the needs of our customers to enable them to achieve operational excellence. David has a first Honours Degree in Environmental Science and PG Cert focused in Occupational Safety and Health from the University of Greenwich.

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