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A message from the President, Clive Johnson
Date of Issue: Wednesday, 6 May, 2020
"As Risk Professionals we have a huge part to play in getting our businesses and industry back to work, albeit not in the form that we once knew. We have a real opportunity to show how adaptable we are as a profession, be positive and communicate well."
First and foremost, I hope that you, your families and loved ones are safe and healthy during this very strange lockdown period. We are in unprecedented times and are all having to adapt to new ways of working – in some cases making things up as we go along. Depending on how the Covid-19 crisis has affected you, your business, or your employer or indeed how circumstances have otherwise impacted your family we are all facing uncertain and worrying times. I truly believe that the world of work will not be the same again even when we get back to some sort of normality, which could be several months away.
The essential work that you have always done is now more important than ever as we prepare to return our people to work. We must learn from the crisis and use it as an opportunity for positive change.
This may have been a quiet time for many of our members, whilst increasing the workload of others. However your work is affected, as Risk Professionals it has hopefully given us time to review existing strategies, risk registers, documentation and given us strategic thinking time, particularly regarding our return to the workplace (Restart-Reset-Renaissance).
We will all need to be thinking about our back to work plans and how we can support our people, business and clients.
What will the new norm look like? At the moment, I am looking at my company’s phase one return to work plan. Aspects include:
- How will staff get to and from work?
- Do we require signs, screens and reconfigured offices to ensure 2m of social distancing space?
- Plans for one-way foot traffic, where possible, in corridors and stairwells as well as lower limits on numbers permitted in lifts.
- Phased or staggered work times or days
- Closure of communal areas such as canteens
- Closure of small meeting rooms that don’t allow social distancing
- A review of fire evacuation procedures
- Hand sterilisers in every corridor, not just washrooms
- Temperature scanners at entrances to office buildings
- A review of our risk assessment and crisis management plans.
It is also worth considering asking staff to complete a self-assessment questionnaire before they return to work to ascertain concerns and understand the psychological impact.
The construction sector also has it's challenges in getting people back on the UK’s construction sites. Public Health England, HSE and Construction Leadership Council have produced Covid-19 Site Operating Procedures Version 3, Other risks we face are Covid-19 Monitoring, tackling the skills shortage and supply of PPE.
As risk professionals we have a huge part to play in getting our businesses and industry back to work, albeit not in the form that we once knew. We have a real opportunity to show how adaptable we are as a profession, be positive and communicate well.
Let’s also not forget that now, and as we emerge into our new future, other business risks need to be recognised, managed and communicated – that is where we as risk professionals can demonstrate our value. The findings of the membership survey indicate that many of you are already involved in reviewing processes and policies in light of recent experience. Now is the time to secure your place in the future of business and protecting people – effectively managing risk is a skill that IIRSM is committed to helping you continually improve. Keep in touch with how we are developing our membership benefits and take advantage of our practical and accessible Managing Risk course – launching online shortly.
I am proud to be President of IIRSM and am here to support all of our members – now and for the duration of my term.
Stay safe, healthy and active and I look forward to seeing many of you as soon as possible.