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Pandemic Planning

Risk Analysis Tool

The tool below will help you identify how flu could be spread in your workplace, what activities pose the greatest risk, and options for preventing infection. In all cases, it is assumed that the basic public health practices of hand washing and drying, good safe coughing/sneezing practice, and social distancing are being emphasised.

How to use this tool:

Look down the list of risk factors, think about the seriousness of each risk in your particular workplace and mark them high, medium or low. Then look down the list of possible options for controlling risks and highlight the ones applicable to your workplace. Deal with risk factors marked as "high" first, then move onto the others. Talk with staff, unions, suppliers and key customers about other options for reducing risks.

Risk Factor Seriousness of the risk at your workplace Ways to reduce the risks
High Medium Low Look down the list of possible controls and highlight those appropriate for your workplace
Number of times staff come in contact with people each day High might be 100 or more a day   low might be no face to face contract Reduce the number of people in contact with staff each day
Conduct business by telephone or the internet
Use a telephone-operated reception desk
Conduct meetings and training sessions by phone or online
Reduce or suspend travel and use of public transport
Introduce or increase use of shift work and working from home
Stagger lunch hours and other use of communal facilities
Types of people contacted High might be hospital patients, overseas visitors etc     Reduce the number of people in contact with staff each day
Conduct business by telephone or the internet
Reduce or suspend travel and use of public transport
Introduce working from home
Require people you come in contact with to wear a mask
Length of contact High might be long meetings   low might be mom-
entary contact with customers
Suspend meetings and training sessions or reduced in length
Reduce or suspend travel and use of public transport
Introduce or increase use of shift work and working from home
Distance between people High might be physical contact, or small, enclosed workspaces     Conduct business by telephone or the internet
Increase distances separating staff from each other and customers (E.g. use wider counters)
Provide barriers and screens between staff and customers (E.g. use 'Night counter' type facilities)
Use larger rooms for meetings and training to maintain physical separation
Likelihood of exposure to infected droplets Might be high in medical centres or schools     Provide physical separation and physical barriers
Set up full infection controls in medical facilities
Wear personal protective equipment, such as respirators
Require the people you will come in contact with to wear masks
Meetings / Training sessions       Suspend meetings and training sessions or reduced in length
Conduct meetings and training sessions by phone or online
At meetings limit numbers and use larger rooms to maintain adequate separation between people
Travel and use of public transport       Reduce or suspend travel and use of public transport
Conduct meetings and training sessions by phone or online
Risk infected people will not be identified early       Initiate procedures to monitor employee health, such as checking for temperatures and other symptoms
Retain a medical advisor
Give staff clear advice on how to report suspected cases of flu, and what to do if they think they have flu
Risk infection could spread through poor ventilation       Ventilate workspaces between shifts
Where possible open windows and doors
Ensure air conditioning meets standards in the NZ Building Code
Risk poor workplace procedures could contribute to spread of infection       Review health and safety procedures to ensure they are clearly thought out, appropriate, safe, widely communicated, and practised
Train staff in influenza controls, particularly basic hygiene
Supervise influenza controls to ensure they are taking place correctly
Reinforce important information using workplace signs, emails etc
Appoint an influenza manager within the organisation to oversee risk controls
Give staff clear advice on how to report suspected cases of flu, and what to do if they think they have flu
Risk infection could spread through poor hygiene       Make sure staff know, and practise, good coughing and sneezing habits
Make sure staff know, and practise, proper hand washing and drying techniques
Make sure staff know, and practise, proper workplace cleaning
Provide necessary facilities and equipment, such as soap, cleaning products and sinks