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Critical to the success of every supply chain operation and every leg of the transport journey is the need to keep skilled staff fit, well and protected from the virus. Exactly as in hospitals, the capacity of the operation is threatened by the loss of anyone to illness and self-isolation.

More businesses are becoming aware of best practice in this area, and the World Bank has issued a checklist on measures to support business continuity and front line staff. Read the World Bank report on Managing Risk and Facilitating Trade in the Covid-19 Pandemic here.

As an example of how a major transport link is protecting their staff and customers, Dublin & Cork Port Tunnels in Ireland have set up the following operational controls:

  • Out of 137 personnel they have 12 per shift on site. These are key control room people and technicians. The tunnel is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
  • IT have set up a secondary control room so there is only one person per room and a maximum of two allowed if communication is needed, providing distancing is complied with. A duty manager relieves the operator for breaks. Control must be constantly manned.
  • There are people on call if needed to take over in the event of illness/ absence.
  •  Tolling transactions have been suspended and only exact change in the basket is accepted. Otherwise, a bill is sent to your home address. All HGVs are free as normal.
  • A reserve crew are on standby, and do not enter the building unless called on.
  • There are two-metre high visibility lines everywhere.
  • The cleaning company have a list of 25 touch points that are cleaned constantly: door handles, entrance door buttons, computer keyboards and mice (when colleagues are on break).
  • There is a midday conference call to keep all updated on the current situation.
  • A Business Continuity Plan is in place for stages green, amber, red, black.
  • Chairs have been removed from the canteen so there is only one chair per table.
  • All visitors are blocked at the main gate.
  • All meetings and training have been cancelled (video conferencing is being used where necessary).
  • Patrollers’ vehicles are continually cleaned interior and exterior.

This is an example of a business response from Ireland which we are sharing as part of our global best practice resource to help you think about and determine appropriate responses locally.

Source: CILT International

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