Many organizations have already established protocols and procedures and IT Tools for managing Influenza related risk assessment approaches. Such protocols can be extended with stricter controls on updating the exposure risks, sources of exposure or even exposure routes for managing the COVID-19. OSHA recently released a guidance (not a standard or legal document) document for managing the Workplace safety planning based on Traditional Infection Prevention & Industrial Hygiene practices. Not only regulatory agencies even the software companies also responding to the need of the hour to help COVID-19 risk assessment. Some giving out ability to log pandemic related exposure events, while others incorporating risk assessment models like Bowtie or even few software companies are offering specific workflow abilities to manage the risk.
The broad abilities of any risk assessment approach is to Identify the locations, Select the Hazard category and Hazard, create necessary tasks for risk assessment, carry out Inherent risk assessment and Add necessary controls, carry out residual risk assessment and finally monitor and review the risk along with Risk communication. SAP EHSM Risk Assessment provides a framework for carrying out the risk assessment of different hazards, identify and create necessary controls and carrying out Risk Assessment. In this blog I would like to elaborate on the OSHA3990 Guidance recommendations from a Software perspective and highlight how Software tools like SAP S/4 HANA EHSM Risk assessment can meet the requirements.
OSHA 3990 Guidance outlines the key information on the impact of the COVID -19 on workplaces, how to classify the COVID-19, Job groups which are at risk to protect workers and Risk assessment categorization. The OSHA Exposure Pyramid categorizes the Exposure risk into multiple segments namely into Very High, High, Medium, and Lower Risk categories. To carry out risk assessment complete the risk categorization of locations based on new hazard called COVID-19. The locations which are of major impact for such cases include First aid clinics, Medical facilities, laboratory, waste handling sections, canteens or places where more employees dwell even if they maintain social distancing. Once the locations are identified, assign hazard of aerosol or biological agent and carry out inherent risk assessment. For assessing the risk analyse the data on COVID-19 risk factors like ability to clean the sections at regular periods, number of people and ability screen before entering, availability of high efficient air filters, Ventilation rate and availability of controls like negative pressure ventilation sections to evaluate the risk. While selecting the Risk necessary controls can be assigned.
SAP EHSM Risk Assessment has ability to carry out Job Hazard assessment which integrates with Human Resources modules can be used to identify the hazard-based person assignment. Once a person is transferred to a new location system can automatically provide information on person exposure profile. Such information can help not only existing exposure but also past exposure profile. Which when linked to their Health records or medical examination data can identify the risk categories. Such Exposure profiles and Health data can easily identify persons at risk to COVID-19 like persons with age, Immunocompromising conditions like Diabetes, Heart Aliments or even Asthmatic people. Once an Inherent risk is identified, necessary controls can be added to the section and residual risk can easily be identified. This risk can easily guide the organization and can be monitored via Risk dashboards. SAP HR / Successfactor can also be integrated to work on Shift planning and exposure assessment etc.
There is a scope to include various controls for managing the risk. It is via creation of SOP documents, which highlight the procedures. When the integration of existing Vendor Data sheets is done into the organization chemical purchase, can easily identify the products with EPA approved disinfectant labels with viral pathogen information. Controls needed to be updated with Face Mask which at times is confused with PPE equipment. For COVID-19 cases a new control calling Face Mask needed to be introduced if not already introduced as part of existing Flu Epidemic risk management protocols. SAP EHS Risk Management offers ability to centrally maintain controls like Engineering controls, administrative controls and Safe practice documents. Which can be assigned to Hazard or locations to manage the risk. OSHA guidance document provides an overview of list of controls which can be adopted like Engineering Controls consisting of Filters, Ventilation, Physical barriers and negative pressure chambers. Administrative controls recommended include Minimizing contact, Alternate shift, training. Safety work practices include provision of trash cans, hand soap, sanitizers etc.
Finally, SAP EHSM Risk Assessment provides many Fiori Tiles and analytical reporting capabilities which can centrally use to monitor various risk categories and their pattern. To conclude SAP S/4 HANA EHS Management consists of various modules like Risk Identification which helps in demarcating the various agents and impacts, Risk Analysis consists of assessment of risk and identifying risk levels like initial risk and can use risk matrix, Risk evaluation to identify the acceptance of the risk. Risk Treatment includes various approaches like defining controls. Once Risk assessment is completed, risk monitoring can be applied to carry out control inspection studies.
Besides these core capabilities SAP S/4 HANA offers Safety Instructions, Location Management to manage the COVID-19 scenario as per OSHA Guidance document. SAP S/4 HANA EHSM Risk Assessment offers various functions which can further be customized and required new fields of information covering COVID-19 specific data can easily be managed, Role specific Tiles can be created, and necessary workflow can be extended. Software solutions are one of the critical enables for managing any risk and other important approaches to managing the COVID-19 is by imparting training on how to work & Maintaining social distancing during Pandemic conditions.