Risk Management approach to Business in a Covid-19 world

By Irene Volschenk

We have certainly seen that Covid-19 has thrown out challenges for all in New Zealand and as such created a totally different landscape to how people and businesses function.

The ACT Safety team has undertaken a risk assessment to determine the best way we can support the people and business we work with. We believe with the precautions and controls we have taken that we have reduced the risk to as low as reasonably practicable.

We have been providing Industry Health and Safety training including extractives management training for more than 14 years. Covid-19, vaccine rollout, has provided business with a new set of unique challenges.

We value the rights of people, workers for safety and balance with legal requirements and obligations. We also balance that, with people’s personal freedom of choice, based on sound understanding and personal risk evaluation, and that many have taken the health and Safety of others into account in their decisions, and that many have underlying health issues that concern them. People also take personal responsibility and accountability for their accounts and manage the risk to others personally.

We are experiencing increased urgency from businesses who need to ensure the safety of their workforce while also managing their ongoing operations in a Covid-19 environment.  Key to this is better understanding what is both justifiable, effective and adheres to New Zealand’s legal framework in implementing controls in the workplace.

We are aware that many organisations have had to comply with government mandated vaccination and requirement for proof of vaccination to enter a workplace.  Other organisations have conducted an independent, robust Risk Assessment including conversations with workers, and organisations being an initial guide to making informed Health Safety and Wellbeing decisions. The resulting outcomes being assessing the risk for specific roles in an organisation, and understanding the needs of people and organisations, in positive dialog.

The challenge to ACT Safety is the broad nature of the services we provide.  Therefore, we have had to assess the risks across our business. This includes our entire team, administration, trainers, our extractive and industry clients, both on external facilities and in our training facilities.

We develop our own internal risk assessment process. The result of our risk assessment demonstrated that we have presently a robust administrative controls, PPE. The most prominent being standard Covid-19 requirements, including the requirement which we are willing to take of significantly reducing class numbers to enable more than adequate social distancing, staggered break times, dedicated toilet facilities for each class.

Whilst we understand that Vaccination is one control, we also appreciate that people understand the benefit of social distancing and mask wearing.

ACT Safety have encouraged voluntary vaccination, balanced with people’s personal rights. You will be pleased to know that throughout all the lockdown that have occurred in New Zealand and practically Auckland we have not forced people to take leave, reduce wages, or suspended or terminated any employment or contract agreements. We have paid all our team fully during all these difficult times. We value our team and the efforts they put in to ensure the Health, Safety and Wellbeing of everyone.

In consultation with many of our clients and advising them of our Risk Assessment process leading to any decision we make, and thus conclusions are based on evidence and outcomes as opposed to emotions.

We are more than aware that as time goes by the Covid-19 vaccination will likely become socialised into everyday life.

We are more than confident that ACT Safety have made sound decision based on sound criteria in our Risk Assessment and our control strategy. We are also aware that this is a moving platform, and as time progresses our stance may have to change, but we want to assure you that we have everyone’s Health Safety and Wellbeing at heart.

We will never put cost ahead of the safety and wellbeing of those that we serve namely our clients, our Vision is Safe Processes | Safe Workplace | Safe People

It is pleasing to know that many of our clients have expressed heartfelt thanks to ACT Safety for the stand we have taken and our ability to continue to provide training in a safe manner.

For further information about how we operate in this Covid-19 world, and your training requirements please contact any of our administration team, and they will be more than happy to work with you to make a plan for your Health, Safety and Wellbeing training.