About Risk Assessing COVID-19

By April 27, 2020Covid
AP:

AP – Ebrahim Noroozi

The response needs to be swift in implementing controls to manage this new workplace risk. Failing to do so could expose you to a range of consequences, to mandated shutdowns, loss of trust from key stakeholders such as staff and customers, and loss of customer contracts.

Traditional Approach Out – Here’s What to Do.

A more traditional approach to a new hazard in the workplace would be to assess the hazard through a risk assessment and identify the required control before implementing. Now we are working backwards to catch up with the risk assessment to justify the controls implemented.

Because COVID-19 has been a crisis situation, organizations have acted decisively to implement controls without following the structured processes that might normally have been applied. This means a “catch up” on the safety processes is now critical, including the formal risk assessment, writing procedures, or collating the training records to ensure you’re meeting your duties as an officer.

Why This is So Important to your Business?

You have responded to COVID-19 and implemented a variety of controls, so why is this still important?

There are many reasons why a documented risk assessment should be seen as a key task to undertake, ultimately it is the justification for the controls that you have implemented. Without this justification, you are exposed as an officer under WHS laws.

The 6 Elements of Due Diligence

In our attached sample COVID-19 risk assessment we apply the six elements of due diligence[1]. The often over-looked areas for focus are the records required to verify the appropriateness of the controls implemented, such as through a risk assessment, and the monitoring processes to ensure controls are being complied with.

Victual have developed a range of templates and resources, including a simple COVID-19 risk assessment template.

If you are still uncertain whether you have satisfied your legal obligations book a free call with risk management expert Peter McGee here.

[1] The six elements of due diligence are taken form advice provided by SafeWork Australia accessed 20/4/2020, https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/book/what-does-officer-need-do