We undertook our first site visit to Central Queensland in June for an audit since Covid-19 came into our lives and restrictions were effected. Tasleem shares his thoughts and experience below:
Planning - always an important part of any site visit, but with the Covid-19 situation, another layer of preparation and risk assessment is now necessary. Viridis has introduced new procedures and processes to ensure measures are put in place to not only protect employees, but also our clients when we visit them. This helped with the preparation logistics-wise. I was in discussions with the client to understand their requirements in relation to Covid-19 and share our expectations. We were all basically on the same page.
Travel - the airport, airport facilities and plane – many surfaces which inevitably are touched. It was a different scene at the airport for sure, normally from the carpark to the terminal its quite packed – as you can see from the picture, that wasn’t the case. It was a constant reminder to myself not to touch my face or mouth, and to use hand sanitiser. Fortunately the middle row seats were not occupied so there was a ‘distance’ between me and my fellow travellers. Boarding and disembarking presented some challenge with social distancing! In-flight entertainment is temporarily not available so again luckily I had some stuff to read and a sitcom downloaded prior.
Onsite – client’s requirements were adhered to in terms of room occupancy, numbers etc. I was mindful of our own company policy. Out of habit, it was challenging to maintain social distancing while inspecting assets and having related discussions, to be honest, however generally time in close contact was kept minimal. The audit itself went successfully and it was agreed that the audit was to be terminated if the auditor or auditees started to feel unwell (Covid related symptoms). I was able to achieve the audit objectives and provide opportunities for improvement, as necessary.
Main Point – ensure that you thoroughly prepare so the onsite visit and interactions are highly focused. This is our usual practice anyway, but with Covid-19 it is a must!