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The Impact of Returning to Work in a SARS Environment
John Beirne
41 Posts
Although many sectors have either returned to work or are returning to work, they would have had to investigate methods to prepare the working environment to limit the spread of COVID.  On behalf of IET Safety Panel, I have been undertaking some research with regard to some of the best practice that may have been adopted to address the spread of COVID amongst the workforce.  Some of the findings are in the attached document.  Please feel free to read.  However, this document is not policy, it is there as guidance material. 

20210608-Returning to Work.docx

If you have any additional practices that you wish to share please let me know.  Likewise, an area that still needs to be addressed is 'How to manage Skill Fade'?  If you have any thoughts or experience on the subject, please let me know.

Kind regards,

John
10 Replies
Some good thoughts there John, thanks. From a practical point of view you could also ask all those thousands who carried on going to work throughout how they did it, what changed, what worked. You know, utilities, healthcare, supermarkets, manufacturers. All your references seem to be national bodies, not sure where their information came from or how up to date it is.
Zoomup
3166 Posts
Skill fade. Just what is skillfade?

Z.
John Beirne
41 Posts
Hi Zoomup,

I hope this may answer your question:  Skill Fade is defined as the decay of ability or adeptness over a period of non-use.

An example maybe riding a bike after a period of non-activity is relatively straight forward, because it is an automatic response.  However, in the military individuals who do not fire weapons on a regular basis become rusty (skill fade) in their weapon handling skills because there are several actions (stoppage drills) that they have to remember correctly and they are unable to pass the weapons handling test.

Zoomup
3166 Posts
John Beirne:
Hi Zoomup,

I hope this may answer your question:  Skill Fade is defined as the decay of ability or adeptness over a period of non-use.

An example maybe riding a bike after a period of non-activity is relatively straight forward, because it is an automatic response.  However, in the military individuals who do not fire weapons on a regular basis become rusty (skill fade) in their weapon handling skills because there are several actions (stoppage drills) that they have to remember correctly and they are unable to pass the weapons handling test.

Thanks for that John. So we need to continually practice vital skills to remain sharp then. I have worked right though the lock down period as I am an essential worker. But I still double and triple check my work for safety and reliability after I complete an electrical job. Wearing in a face covering in stressful distracting conditions can distract even the skilled worker  from essential checks. Mistakes must be avoided at all costs.

Z.

Lisa Miles
1287 Posts
Hi John Beirne‍ 

I have been wondering how airline pilots are keeping up to date with their flying during the pandemic.

Don't they have to have to be flying so many hours per year in order to maintain their pilots licence? A bit like CPD? If they haven't flown for months will they have to go through some kind of re-training before they can get back on the flight deck?

I'm sure this is probably one of the most important areas where there is a potential for skill fade that would need to be addressed! 😟

 
John Beirne
41 Posts
Hi Lisa,

You are quite correct in that flying is not akin to riding a bicycle!  Aircrews are required to maintain currency and or undergo training to ensure their skills are up to speed.  The CAA has issued guidance https://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Newsroom/COVID-19-guidance-for-commercial-and-general-aviation/ and there are several documents to peruse.  However, most of the commercial aircrew I have chatted with, have been able to maintain their currency as the airlines have rotated the crews.  If the aircraft was not flying PAX it may have been on a freight run.  One of my friends is in and out of furlough as they rotate him to maintain his currency and he has also had to undergo sim training.

Aircrews are to maintain currency and undergo the appropriate training and certification.  When I used to take my bike out after the winter, I used to ask the police motor bike rider to check a group of us out, to iron out any bad skills or shows us new ways.

Kind regards,

John
John Beirne
41 Posts
Hi Zoomup,

The IET Engineering Safety Panel has been reviewing a couple of documents, which maybe of interest to you:
 
Arc Flash
Safe Use of work Equipment at Home.
 
They will be located at this web link:  https://www.theiet.org/impact-society/factfiles/engineering-safety-factfiles/.  The old versions of the document are still on the system and I hope you will agree that when the revised documents are published they are considerably much improved.

They are going through the final amendment stages at the moment.  If you are interested, just look to for them.

Kind regards,

John
John Beirne
41 Posts
Hi Roger,

Thank you for your comments.  I had liaised with several industries with regards to this paper, especially those who had worked through lockdown.  Communications and 360 feedback was two of the biggest issues and hopefully the paper has provided some advice on this area.  With regards to references, gosh, the web is awash with help.  Therefore, I tried to keep with trusted sites: government, HSE and ACAS, who all appeared to be fairly up to date.

It is a little bit of a minefield out there and if a company takes one snippet of information away that assists: that is great.  I will hopefully undertake some more research over the coming month.

Kind regards,

John
Ndolo
2 Posts
Some nice thoughts!

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