COVID-19: How you can respond?
For most of us, business as usual has changed.
Work from home arrangements have come into effect, and keeping a physical distance has become the norm in workplaces where people must be on site. We want to ensure that our clients can keep their facilities running, while safely doing their jobs.
Our team has put our heads together to create this list of things you should do now, and how we can support you in that work should you need us.
Things you can do to ensure continuous operations at your facilities
If you have not revisited your contingency plans, communications protocols or other monitoring processes, we suggest that you do so. These are tools that can help you know exactly what to do, and when, to keep your community healthy and safe. Given the likelihood of staff becoming unwell or needing to self isolate, you should also look at your existing documentation.
Can your facilities continue to run, adhering to the appropriate health and quality standards, if your team is not available?
Also consider what can be done remotely.
How we can support you?
- Pandemic contingency plans – for continued operation with reduced and relieving staff
- Checklist of requirements
- Communication protocols
- Operational Support
- Water quality monitoring performance
- Water monitoring plans and triggers
Pandemic contingency planning
We will work with you to create a contingency plan and action list for operating with reduced on-site staff.
Contingency planning including:
- Updating and training relief staff in incident and contingency response plans where key staff may not be available (e.g. Incident and emergency response plans, water quality incident protocols, PRIMP)
- Reviewing current SOPs for use by relief operational staff
- Prioritising any updates to those SOPs, to ensure they can be followed by relief staff
- Identifying areas where further contingency planning is required
Consider undertaking contingency planning if:
- You do not have an up-to-date contingency plan
- If you are at all concerned that your council does not have a clear understanding of the essential activities, communication processes and authorisations required to keep your facilities running
- You are unsure of how to operate with a high number, or all regular staff unavailable
Checklists of requirements
We can assist you to develop water and sewerage checklists that:
- Help relief or existing staff clearly understand key requirements for protection of public health, the environment and other regulatory requirements
- Mitigate against the risk of having constantly changing roles and team members over the course of the pandemic
- Ensure all requirements can be met by regular and relief staff in a changing environment
Consider this if:
- You have a small number of key staff and would need to retrain relief staff quickly
- You have no similar checklists
- You have checklists, but they have not been updated recently
This is a changing environment, let us help you ensure that you have documented systems in place.
- Define roles and responsibilities – Who needs to report? Who to? In what timeframe?
- Outline the appropriate timelines for response to water quality and / or sewage incidents
- Document ‘back-up’ roles and authorisations
- Refer to what to do next – what do you need to do to remedy the situation?
Consider this if:
- Speed up decision making and reporting through leaving no room for questions about who does what
- You need to better identify ‘back-up’ lines of reporting – do your current protocols consider greatly reduced staffing levels?
- Your communications protocols are undocumented or have not been reviewed recently
If the running of your water and sewage treatment plants are impacted by changes in staffing, we can help.
We can offer phone and offsite support when you encounter operational water quality issues.
Two of our team are also able to provide onsite operational support in an emergency. They are able to supply their own PPE, and are:
- Experienced in the operation of water and sewage treatment plants
- Qualified to operate fluoride treatment plants
Water quality monitoring performance review
We can remotely monitor your water quality data, as needed, including
- critical control points
- operational data
- verification monitoring data.
If something goes wrong, we will implement your communications protocols as required.
If you need us to help with remote monitoring, you may need to provide us with:
- login details for your systems
- copies of any monitoring data spreadsheets
- scanned or photos of any hardcopy monitoring sheets
Water monitoring plans and triggers
We can document your routine water sampling programs (WTP and STP operational and verification) as well as your emergency (minimum requirements) program.
The operational monitoring program would include parameter, location, frequency, basis, water quality target and corrective action.
This program could then be used by relief staff to understand:
- what they should be testing
- why they should be testing
- what an abnormal result looks like
- how to respond
You may know us as specialist water engineers who have our boots on the ground, a deep understanding of the policy and years of experience behind us.
Right now, please consider us as an extension of your council.
If you have any questions, concerns or need assistance, please call (02) 9488 7742