The safety and health of our people, clients, and others under our control, is at the core of the way we do business.
It must come first – every time and everywhere. This is driven by our belief in the culture of caring about the well-being of our people, our clients and our contractors.
Our response to COVID-19 is being guided by a global Task Force as well as regional and local teams made up of Subject Matter Experts and senior management representatives. As the conditions continue to change, so too will our global and regional/local response efforts.
Updated - 17 March 2020
Our primary concern is for the wellbeing of our staff and other stakeholders. To that end, we are stressing with our staff that the best manner in which to prevent personal infection is to practice good personal hygiene in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) guidance. The WHO provides the following information - Advice for Public.
Additional considerations include:
- Do not engage in business travel and do not come to the office if you are sick. Seek medical advice in accordance with your country’s health authority advice. Inform your line manager. In case of any doubt about your health condition, you may be required to self-quarantine yourself.
- Anyone returning from known virus hot spots or who may have been in contact with a potential COVID-19 case should inform their line manager, monitor themselves, seek medical advice as necessary and work from home during an appropriate quarantine period based on local health authority guidance.
- Minimize your potential exposure if your personal medical conditions place you in a high-risk category. Employees should feel fully confident to raise any concerns with respect to business activities and the COVID-19 situation to their line managers or health & safety representative.
Travel restrictions are in place for any and all international travel until further notice. International travel will only be approved if it is business essential. The determination of business essential travel must be documented and agreed in accordance with internal ERM guidelines. Additionally, any and all international travel will only be approved if the traveler is comfortable with completing the assignment and they do not fall into one or more "High Risk" categories established by the World Health Organization
We are monitoring the developments within all countries as the situation evolves
Limiting face-to-face client and vendor meetings
Prior to either hosting or attending a face-to-face meeting with a client (either within an ERM office, a client facility or any other venue), ERM staff must first contact them to understand their organizational response to COVID-19 and adjust planning and arrangements appropriately. Many of our clients have, or are preparing to, apply their own controls over all face-to-face meetings and/or are putting in place strict monitoring requirements to access their facilities/campuses/buildings.
Until further notice, it is ERM’s position to restrict all face-to-face meetings with vendors. This includes meetings within ERM offices and meetings within vendor facilities. ERM staff encouraged to work with vendors to establish alternative methods of communication/meeting.
ERM office response measures
Our current guidance in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case in the office is as follows:
- Ask the individual to move into an area of the office that reduces contact with other people and provides some level of privacy (i.e. room with a closeable door).
- If available, ask the individual with the symptoms to wear a facemask (also called a surgical mask, procedure mask, or other similar terms). The mask acts to contain potentially infectious respiratory secretions at the source (i.e., the person’s nose and mouth). Otherwise, limit exposure as much as possible and follow established hygiene procedures.
- Ask the individual who they have had direct contact with in the office (physical touch or within 2 meters for extended period of time in a closed space). Ask these exposed individuals to don a facemask (if available) and to leave the office and work from home until the primary individual is cleared, or for 14 days if primary individual is not cleared.
- Staff member/visitor exhibiting symptoms is asked to leave office immediately to seek professional medical attention.
- Report the case to Health Authorities if we are required to / or this reporting will be done by the local medical professional providing care. Staff member needs to be cleared to return to workplace.
- Should staff self-report coming into contact with a potential infection source (relative/friend/cases in same building – neighbor), they should also be asked to don face mask (where available) and leave the office until we know the employee is cleared from an appropriate medical authority.
Our internal response actions will be guided by applicable local health authority advice. However, all staff must follow both our internal protocols and any requirements set forth by the relevant local health authorities (whichever are most protective).
Where appropriate we are providing facemasks and appropriate hand sanitizing gels for use by staff and visitors. In locations where recommended, or required by local health authorities, we are conducting personal temperature checks using non-contact thermometers.
We continue to review, on a case-by-case basis whether to introduce remote-working arrangements for all or part of our staff. Local ERM management teams will advise if or when such arrangements are to be implemented.