13th March 2020
The LCA as an organisation sends assessors to member organisations and holds regular committee and other meetings including large conference events. These person to person contacts have the potential to spread the COVID-19 virus (or any other contagion).
Concerns have been expressed from some members of the potential exposure to infection from interaction with assessors during member audits. While we have not yet had to cancel any audits due to fears of infection, this may be a future development, which we will take based on Government advice.
As an organisation our position is to follow the Government guidance. As part of a risk assessment of our operation we must consider the vulnerability of our members, assessors, committee and secretariat and the potential for becoming infected by, or spreading infection to, our members and others.
Some people will be more vulnerable than others to COVID-19 and this should form part of the assessment of risk. Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease – not unlike the susceptible groups for Legionnaires’ disease. If any of your staff have any of these high risk factors, we advise caution.
While the government advice does not advocate stopping normal business operations, there is potential for the LCA to reduce or eliminate risk in the way in which we carry out our operations.
We have 67 member audits to complete to the end of this registration year. We will be contacting each of these members individually to determine:
• Do they have a policy of limiting visitors?
• Are they confident that none of their staff have been exposed to Covid 19 or have recently returned from an affected area?
• Are they able and willing for their LCA audit to be conducted remotely via Microsoft Teams?
Future conferences and other meetings or events will be held under review based on Government advice. As per the current Government guidance, we have no plans for general suspension of operations.
The information in this communication is based on the government guidance as of the 12th of March 2020. We will review our position on all of the above as and when the Government guidance evolves.