I am now in my 6th week of working from home, being unlucky enough to have been ill in the two weeks prior to the lockdown, and, have been socially isolated from the first advice to do so as my wife unfortunately suffers with asthma.
The challenges of daily life have become interesting with risk assessment being at the forefront of my mind for all activities. Managing the risk involved in just getting food is a challenge. Supermarkets are open, but some fellow customers do not seem to understand that socially distancing does not include pushing in front of somebody to get that last pack of potatoes. Plus, there is all the touching of the produce as shoppers hunt through the shelves for what they want.
Then we consider the risks of online shopping. If you can find what you need and get a reasonable delivery date you have done well. But what about when the delivery arrives? The delivery person has the right idea – puts it on the step, knocks on the door, then beats a hasty retreat, but the package must have been handled by several people before it arrived, is this a risk?
Then we have the allowed one exercise session a day. I am really lucky to have some fields opposite (that is before the developer finally gets permission to build on them) however they do back onto a large new development where the residents rightly use this for recreation. Weekdays it is fine with a few sensible people out with their children and/or dogs, but the recent good weather brought out a lot more people with a fair number not understanding what social distancing (or even exercise) means – I am sure it is not lying on the grass with a picnic!
The most challenging event so far was my wifes necessary visit to the GP, which required a major evaluation of risks, and, after much research, a detailed plan to mitigate the myriad of risks involved.
I am not an expert, and rely as most people do, on the various, sometimes conflicting sources of information from various online sources. The two meter distancing seems well agreed as does washing hands so these have become at the forefront of our minds in our personal risk assessments.
PPE is more confusing with conflicting advice on gloves and masks and to be honest we are very limited in what we have. Therefore the limited supply of disposable rubber gloves from the decorating supply are being used judiciously on the rare occasions one of us has to venture out.
How long the virus can last on various different types of material is another area where there is a significant differing of views. Here we are taking reasonable precautions, isolating the packages for several days, if not immediately essential and washing/disinfecting others.
Immediate removal/ washing of clothing and a shower seems good advice and has been used where necessary.
Having worked in and around Safety for 30 years now, I have picked up bits of knowledge which I am now finding very useful and am also lucky to have access to a large team of experts and RRC’s bank of materials and reference guides. I appreciate many others struggling to manage the Covid 19 risks are not so fortunate and as stated the information available is confusing and contradictory at times. But the basic principles of minimising risk are simple: social distancing and handwashing should be at the top of everybody’s list. The risks are there to be managed and the rewards are simple – food and necessities, plus good health.
Stay safe one and all and hopefully I can get back to my less sole searching training related pieces in the near future.