Hunts firm offers 'swine flu' business checklist

WHAT would your company do if the swine flu outbreak became pandemic? A Huntingdon-based firm of Business Continuity experts has come up with a list of 10 key points to minimise the impact. Currently, the direct impact of the flu virus in the UK is lim

WHAT would your company do if the "swine flu" outbreak became pandemic?

A Huntingdon-based firm of Business Continuity experts has come up with a list of 10 key points to minimise the impact.

Currently, the direct impact of the 'flu virus in the UK is limited, although some multi-national companies have suspended all overseas travel, says Cambridge Risk Solutions, which is based at Hinchingbrooke Park.

"A travel ban of this nature presents obvious issues for the normal continuity of daily business, but there would be further difficulties to consider in the event of a pandemic, such as coping with staff absences, as staff either succumb to any bugs, have to stay at home to treat family members who are ill, or have to stay at home to look after children as schools may have been closed.


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"It is essential that businesses consider possible impacts to be able to continue to operate effectively in such challenging circumstances."

The firm recommends companies look particularly to:

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Critical activities: review your business impact analysis to confirm critical activities and the resources required to maintain them, particularly staffing.

Cross-training: confirm sufficient staff have been trained to cover for absences in critical areas.

Incident management plans: check that plans are up-to-date with appropriate procedures for monitoring and responding to an evolving situation.

Suppliers: confirm what arrangements key suppliers have in place and identify alternates in case there should be problems

Remote working: ensure that there is sufficient IT and communications capacity to deal with an increased demand for home-working.

Products and services: consider how a pandemic might affect demand for products and services, such as increased demand for on-line services.

Communicating with staff: confirm what methods will be used to communicate with staff; ensure that staff are familiar with these and update all contact details.

Facilities: ensure that plans are in place for additional cleaning and waste disposal, if required.

HR activities: check that appropriate policies are in place for dealing with absence and other issues that might emerge in a pandemic.

Travel: identify appropriate trigger points for suspending foreign travel.

CONTACT: Helen Molyneux or Patrick Roberts by e-mail to info@cambridge-risk.com or telephone 01223 906039.

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