We can’t predict the next crisis, but we can be prepared for it and under the current unprecedented circumstances we keep working with our clients and colleagues to continue delivering support and solutions to their structural integrity problems.
Our business continuity plan has been pivotal in successfully dealing with and adapting to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Our plan was set up in June 2012 and it was designed to provide the framework within which our company can comply with the business continuity requirements of our customers. Business continuity management was established to ensure EASL could continue to deliver a minimum acceptable level of service to our key customers in the event of any disruption.
The system comprises:
- A scope document, echoing EASL’s scope of services/supply;
- A policy document in accordance with the UK standard BS25999 which sets out how we will continue to deliver the minimum acceptable level of service to our customers in the event of a disruption;
- The policy also details the membership of the Business Continuity Committee (BCC). The plan stipulates that plans must be made, published, and tested for key services.
Additionally, this policy includes an event response plan. The plan critically appraises “events” that may occur affecting EASL or any stakeholder and may adversely affect normal business.
Each event is ascribed to an owner who has responsibility for assessing potential causes, any mitigations that can be put in place and an alternative plan to be implemented whenever these mitigations are not being effective.
The business continuity plan links us into local responder bodies, local residence forums, and the local council emergency planners. As soon as a relevant event is identified, a BCC meeting is held to devise a response.
Since the business continuity plan was established, we only have had a handful of events that caused minor disruption and, as it was expected it has proven extremely useful.
Conveniently, the business continuity plan already considered an event described “loss of illness of key employees, human diseases – outbreak of disease or infection amongst employees and epidemic/pandemic diseases”. Roughly 95% of our responses to the Covid-19 issue had already been identified within the plan and were ready to implement.
As early as January we defined measures to isolate staff returning from affected areas overseas. When the threat came apparent, the BCC met on the 13th March and agreed on a plan. The plan was implemented the following week and within 3 days, more than 80% of staff had shifted to home working, and the remainder within the next 5 days.
As a company, we are pleased with how well the business continuity plan has served us at this time and are grateful for the BCC for out-lining such effective precautions to ensure we would be prepared to deal with such events.
Most importantly, we have been able to continue supporting our colleagues, caring for their wellbeing and safety while delivering on existing and new commitments to our clients, providing our services and solutions.
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