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COMPLIANCE & RISK ASSESSMENT


“PEOPLE ARE TIRING OF THE RESTRICTIONS ON THEIR LIVES AND THE CONFUSION THEY CAN CAUSE WITHOUT CLEAR GUIDANCE AND SUPPORT.”


THE C WORDS


As a health and safety professional it is my job to help keep people safe and well at work. Never before has my vocation been tested like it has in 2020.


Today, our industry is at the forefront of fighting COVID-19; keeping businesses open, encouraging people back to work with confidence and helping to keep them in good health when they’re there.


Since COVID hit, it’s been beyond challenging and the months ahead will be no different as we enter the winter period and concern around COVID-19 becomes greater. In my opinion, the success of every health and safety strategy now depends on two ‘c’ words: complacency and culture. Both these words are linked to behaviours, and it’s our behaviours that can and will make the difference in slowing the spread of coronavirus.


After eight months it’s understandable that restriction- fatigue is setting in across the country and as a result, complacency begins to creep in. People are tiring of the restrictions on their lives and the confusion they can cause without clear guidance and support. When we take one risk and remain well, it reinforces a sense of safety and so we take another risk and another.


We must do all we can to tackle this complacency and remind and support our own teams as well as our clients’ employees and users of our clients’ sites, that the risk is still very real.


As part of our EnhancedClean programme we work with clients to create bespoke communication for site users, designed to keep them alert throughout the built environment. The purpose of these comms is to not only reassure people that all necessary disinfection measures are in place, but also to influence their behaviour. It needs to become second nature to keep a safe social distance, to wear a mask correctly when required, and to wash one’s hands frequently; to achieve this we must do all we can to ward off complacency.


This goes for our team members too. Like many service businesses, our operations and teams are


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The success of every health and safety strategy now relies on two words: complacency and culture, explains Andrew Lewinton, QHSE Director at ABM UK.


spread across the country carrying out their roles and playing their part in ensuring clean, serviced, maintained and secure environments. COVID has meant that many employees work remotely or do not have regular face-to-face contact with other team members as they once did. It is essential that our entire workforce is kept up to speed on developments, are engaged with regularly about their health, safety and wellbeing responsibilities, and to ensure they are clear on the necessary safety protocols.


ABM’s communications infrastructure and COVID response processes have allowed us to keep regular contact with all team members who have and continue to set examples to others to ‘do the right thing’ in following the rules.





The second c word, culture, is one which takes us into 2021 and the future of our industry. At ABM, health and safety has always been a part of the company culture. Our training and development investment in our ABM team members is proof of the progressive steps that we have taken to engrain it in everything we do.


However, for us to succeed in the fight against COVID-19 in the long term, the new behaviours we are asking people to employ need to become part of the company culture that extends beyond the workplace. The ‘new normal’ over time will become the accepted ‘normal’.


New measures and technologies will play a critical part in the health, safety and wellbeing of our communities and will build confidence and help establish the new standard of operating, designed to protect all. Ultimately, this must all become habit, we need to influence a cultural shift.


It is by no means a short fight, but by warding off complacency and influencing a cultural shift for now and for the future, we can beat this virus.


www.abm.co.uk www.tomorrowshs.com


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