Ensuring interrupted operations has for long been central to risk management in factories, hospitals, production sites and various critical corporate functions such as logistics hubs. Covid-19 underlines that epidemics containment must be a part of the risk management toolkit.
An epidemic can develop and spread quickly, producing wave after wave of outbreaks of various scales. For businesses this implies great uncertainties in predicting and managing the impact on their own personnel and the disruption of their supply chain.
How could companies take control of limiting the spread of the epidemic and securing the continuity of their business? Should one simply wait for a medical solution to achieve significant coverage? How about when some other, yet unknown epidemic starts to spread in the future – should a process be prepared for this very likely scenario?
Preventing epidemics and inhibiting transmission chains can be thought of as risk management processes just like information security, hardening systems for cyber-attacks and securing premises and sensitive documents. In the future, having a mechanism in place to protect employees can become a standard part of a security audit.
Technology offers a variety of options for contract tracing and maintaining a safe social distance. A particularly effortless and maintenance free solution is to use smart personnel badges that utilize indoor positioning. Should employees wearing the badges stay in too close contact for too long, the badges will sound a notification and the event is recorded. In case an employee or visitor is later diagnosed with an infection, exposures can easily be traced from the cloud service and categorized by the likelihood of passing on the infection. This way the company itself can effectively end the transmission chain and secure continuity of their business.
Contact tracing will also serve to reduce fears of infection in cases where the risk can be determined to be minimal. Both the employer and employee will benefit from a safer workplace and the ability to continue normal operations with minimal training and maintenance.