QCOSS’ pandemic emergency management plan

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As part of our business continuity plan, QCOSS has established a Pandemic Management Plan to appropriately mitigate the risk as much as possible and minimise the potential impact for employees and our business.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is nominated as the Pandemic Manager for the organisation and will work with all teams in identifying mission-critical employees and functions. The Senior Manager Corporate Services will assist and be the alternative Pandemic Manager.

It is emphasised that the Pandemic Plan is to work in conjunction with the QCOSS Business Continuity Plan and those lines of authority are maintained.

Purpose of the plan

The Plan is based on the assumptions as described in the AHMPPI (Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza) and aims to enable QCOSS to plan, prepare, respond and recover in the event of a pandemic.

Approach

QCOSS’ approach is to reflect the AHMPPI response stages below (Table 1)

Consistent with Queensland’s strategic approach to emergency management, the following information summarises QCOSS activities for pandemic management:

Summary of QCOSS’ activities for pandemic management

Prevention

  • Promote good personal hygiene measures to employees including:
    • Making sure that surfaces and objects (e.g. phones, keyboards, mice) are wiped with disinfectant regularly
    • Providing hand sanitiser in dispensers in prominent places around the workplace and ensure these are regularly refilled
    • Displaying posters promoting hand washing and hygiene practices
    • Make sure that employees, visitors and contractors have access to places where they can wash their hands with soap and water
  • Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace such as:
    • Display posters promoting respiratory hygiene
    • Make sure that employees cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue when coughing/sneezing and throw tissue into bin immediately after use
  • Limit the total number of staff in the office and leverage mobile technology to stay connected
  • Restrict all non-essential business travel and suspend non-essential QCOSS events
  • Restrict all non-essential meetings (especially external) until further notice and promote video conferencing services (Zoom, MS Teams, Skype for Business) where possible.

Preparedness

  • CEO / Manager to provide regular updates to employees about the situation and any changes
  • Remind employees that they have a duty to take reasonable care of their own health and safety and not to adversely affect the health and safety of others
  • Provide a point of contact in addition to access to support services which includes the Employee Assistance Program
  • CEO and Senior Management team to establish parameters/procedures to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of its employees and their families, which includes the following working from home arrangements.
  • WHS – Work from Home Self Evaluation Checklist
  • Establish Working from Home (WFH) procedures
  • ICT Equipment set-up
  • Provide seasonal influenza vaccinations to reduce convergence risk of respiratory disease with any occurring seasonal influenza
  • Closely monitor official Government sources for current information and advice: Queensland Health, Department of Health, Smart Traveller , Safe Work Australia
  • Prepare timely resources like hand sanitiser, tissues and respiratory masks for the workplace
  • Review Industrial Relations (IR) requirements specifically, that is:
    • Managing Health and Safety in the Workplace
    • What happens if an employee or their family member is sick?
    • What if an employee is stuck overseas or required to be quarantined?
    • What if an employee wants to stay home as a precaution?
    • What if an employer wants their staff to stay home including WHS?
    • Standing staff down
  • Review insurances specifically business interruption
  • Employees required to disclose personal travel plans (nationally and internationally) to reporting manager and Corporate Services Manager and clarify potential work-related consequences prior to departure
  • Where practicable, limit use of public transport
  • Review and cancel non-essential business travel and meeting attendance

Response

  • CEO / Manager continues to provide information and regular updates to employees about the situation and any changes.
  • Continue promoting good hygiene practices and other measures to protect against infections
  • If unwell, avoiding contact with others (including shaking hands or other touching, such as hugging)
  • Limited access to the workplace by other people (contractors, consultants etc), unless necessary
  • In case of a preventive work from home arrangements or office closedown, establish agreed workplans and advise all staff to take their ICT equipment when leaving the office:
    • Surface Laptop / Tablet
    • Power Adapter for Surface Laptop / Tablet
    • Headset or handset for telephone system (staff with physical handsets are required plug-in their phones into their home routers via ethernet cable).
  • Optional items
    • Mouse and Keyboard
    • Toshiba port replicator
    • Computer monitors
  • Staff will be required to use Microsoft Teams (or Skype for Business) for video communication/collaboration.
  • Set up additional licences for conferencing/collaboration if required.
  • Staff will need to ensure to sign into the following apps when commencing work from home:
    • Microsoft Teams (former Skype for Business) for video communication/collaboration
    • Communicator for telephony

ICT Support during the WFH arrangement / lockdown will only be available remotely.

  • QCOSS phones will operate as usual unless otherwise communicated through the CEO or Senior Management
  • All Equipment taken from the office is to be disinfected on return to the office
  • CEO / Senior Management to closely monitor official Government sources for current information and advice. Queensland Health, Department of Health, Smart Traveller, Safe Work Australia
  • Require any worker who is unwell and not fit for work to stay away from the workplace and to seek medical attention and advice as appropriate
  • Seek advice from the relevant health authority immediately if there has been a confirmed case of the virus in the workplace
  • Employees with a confirmed illness should remain under home isolation precautions or professional quarantine until the risk of secondary transmission to others is no longer a risk and a medical certificate providing clearance is provided prior to returning to work.
  • Contact our insurer
  • Questions for the CEO to the Board:
    • Which plans need to be activated and when?
    • Do our plans account for this type of ongoing threat? Do they contain an appropriate focus on employee wellbeing, short and long-term financial impact?
    • What support does management need? What is the best way to support them?
    • Is the business planning for post-pandemic communications and stakeholder impacted?
    • Are we scenario planning and testing for any negative fallout?
    • Are we adjusting revenue projections if necessary and taking action to boost financial resilience?

 

 

17 March 2020