Pandemic should be on your Risk Register

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Before 2020 we may not have expected Covid 19 or any other Pandemic to feature in a Risk Register. What about now? Why would pandemic not be in there already? Which businesses should consider the risks a pandemic poses?

Now we are living with the risks associated with Covid 19, a pandemic must definitely be a part of every businesses risk planning. Business Continuity planning was always something pushed under Quality Management. But business continuity plans for smaller businesses tended to only considered risks like loss of facilities due to fire or loss of data.

With the advent of Covid 19 this must change, but you might ask why. Risk registers are only supposed to deal with the foreseen and unless you were diligent in documenting all your risks or you were particularly risk averse it’s unlikely your business considered a pandemic. Most governments didn’t have a plan, despite previous instances (Spanish Flu). Now that has changed, because a pandemic can be foreseen. It’s inevitable. It’s here.

Approach this as you would any other risk:

  • Understand the risks
    • Consider the impact it will have on
      • your stakeholders (staff, customers, suppliers, subcontractors, etc)
      • your business
      • the economy
      • logistics
      • the demand for your products and services
  • Take advice or research what options are available to mitigate the risks.
  • Understand your legal obligations and any health advice.
  • Decide what action you plan to take to address the risks, when to take them and who is responsible for them.
  • Consult with staff in considering the risks and developing the plans.
  • Document the planned action so that when the time comes people know what action they must take.

Then hope the government is as prepared as you will be and that you don’t have to use your plan too often!


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