Continuity of Operations Planning & Design

No question, a pandemic applies extraordinary and unrelenting stress on organizations, operations, and the health and safety of individuals. Implementing proactive defense against the biological threats and challenges of COVID-19 includes simultaneously:

  1. Designing and implementing layers of protection for employees and essential business functions

  2. Developing and maintaining an effective Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)

LJB develops, designs and implements flexible solutions that enable your organization to remain resilient  throughout the ever-changing pandemic conditions, enabling you to focus on achieving business objectives.

We can help you: 

Create a Customized Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)
  • Develop procedures to restart, resume and sustain operations.
  • Identify all critical functions, relationships and resources.
  • Identify essential employee health and safety controls.
  • Perform gap analysis of existing plans/procedures.
  • Establish communication protocols.
Design and Implement Controls
  • Maximize engineering and administrative controls that do not rely on personal protective equipment (PPE). Such controls include:
    • Barriers
    • Air flow
    • Communication & training
    • Alternate work practices
    • Visitor interface protocols
    • Screening programs
  • Develop the critical administrative controls and training for situations when PPE is unavoidable.
LJB equation for resilience during a pandemic

Resources

WEBINARS

Productivity and Protection During a Pandemic

In an informative hour, LJB HSE practice leader, Kirk Phillips, and LJB O&EH service leader, Dawn Colombi, share valuable insight and expertise on implementing organizational changes that address both business productivity and employee health and safety.

How to Stay Open for Business During a Pandemic

In this hour-long webinar, LJB HSE practice leader, Kirk Phillips, and LJB O&EH service leader, Dawn Colombi, provide insight on protecting employee health while minimizing productivity losses and positioning your organization for recovery.

Downloads

Contact Us

For a free consultation, contact us at (937) 259-6358 or COOPsolutions@ljbinc.com.

Why LJB?

Pandemic Planning Expertise

Our team is led by industrial hygiene and preventive health experts who created and implemented pandemic preparedness plans, protocols, and controls while serving in the U.S. military.

Practical Experience in Diverse Industries

Our unique team has practical experience implementing controls — including complete engineering design and turnkey design-and-build solutions — in a range of industries, such as maintenance, healthcare, production, infrastructure and hospitality.

Flexible Solutions

Our expertise enables us to create solutions that are resilient throughout the waxing and waning fluctuations of the pandemic life cycle, helping you navigate the critical failure points.

Save Time and Resources

By tapping our expertise, you will save valuable time and resources, while avoiding the high-stakes consequences of reactive or trial-and-error approaches.

Put our pandemic planning experts to work for you and your business.

Kirk Phillips, LJB's HSE practice leader

Kirk Phillips
Health, Safety and Environment Practice Leader

  • Ran global EHS for U.S. Air Force and led a team of 1,900
    • Led pandemic planning, as advisor to the Surgeon General
    • Wrote Continuity of Operations and Pandemic Response Plan for HQ
  • 28 years of service to the U.S. Air Force (Retired Colonel)
  • Leads nationally recognized engineering practice serving all markets and industries

Dawn Colombi, LJB's O&EH services leader

Dawn Colombi, PMP
Occupational Environmental and Health Services Leader / Safety Director

  • Led State-Level Responses to Pandemic Planning and Policy Development
  • Managed Air National Guard Occupational and Environmental Health Programs
    • Execution responsibilities included 93 installations in 54 states and territories
  • 32 years with U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard
  • At OSHA, trained Compliance Safety and Health Officers

FAQs

The first wave in the U.S. may be over in a month; however, all historical pandemics have multiple waves. Until the entire population either has the disease or gets vaccinated against it, these waves will continue. The best estimates for when “normal” will return is currently the end of 2021. Businesses that adapt to this new environment will succeed. Those that do not will face significant operational challenges.

The answer is binary. Organizations are either proactive or reactive. Relying on reactive measures when dealing with a biological infectious disease is likely to result in uncontrolled events that have already crippled businesses of all sizes. Proactively implementing a COOP and controls position an organization to anticipate the changes and challenges and to navigate the road ahead. By being proactive and investing in controls, businesses minimize interruptions, accelerate and sustain recovery, explore new market opportunities, and cultivate the support and confidence of employees and business stakeholders.

A properly implemented barrier is beneficial, but a poorly designed barrier can be worse than no barrier at all. Unintended changes to air flow and worker reactions to the barrier are the primary culprits. Based on our experience and knowledge, designing purposeful layers of protection throughout a place of business can achieve successful prevention. Since transmission may occur through both inhalation and contact, an approach that uses administrative controls, as well as engineering controls such as installing physical barriers and controlling airflow, is more reliable.

An improperly implemented barrier can do more harm than good. A barrier may redirect airflow, making it easier for the virus to be transmitted through inhalation. A barrier may also give a false sense of security. It may be too small or placed in a location that only gives the appearance of protection while doing little to prevent the spread of the virus. Some materials are incompatible with common disinfectants and may become cloudy. If the cloudy barriers become a hindrance to getting work done, they will likely be circumvented, or they will need to be replaced, which would result in additional business costs and disruption.

An improperly implemented barrier that doesn’t prevent the spread of the virus could lead to more infections and questions from employees about whether the proper steps were taken to protect them. Since there is so much conflicting information about COVID-19, employee training is a crucial element in controlling the spread in the workplace. Even with respect to physical barriers, training on topics, such as what disinfectants are compatible, personnel positions required for maximum protection, and the protection limitations of the barrier are all essential training topics. Employees need to understand that they play a role in ensuring protection is adequate.

Limiting the number of people in a facility allows greater opportunity to increase personnel separation. However, the building code limits were not established to control the spread of infectious disease; therefore, choosing an arbitrary maximum occupancy is not a reliable way to control the spread of COVID-19. Creating a Continuity of Operations Plan and proactive layers of protection will facilitate prevention and isolation of transmission.

If you have a potential for exposure due to the work tasks or work environment, such as in healthcare facilities, you must report COVID-19 cases as an occupational exposure.

Cleaners, decontaminants and sanitizers are tools to manage the transmission of infectious diseases, and they must be used in coordination with a comprehensive protection plan. A Continuity of Operations Plan identifies the products necessary for each area or environment and the proper use (purpose, frequencies, limitations, etc.).

Many business leaders are waiting for the crisis to pass, expecting it to be short lived. It won’t be. This crisis will last for years. There will be waxing and waning periods, and businesses need to be prepared to operate in both. Having a plan to manage those fluctuations will enable you to quickly transition between them. Businesses that lead proactively will succeed and benefit in the long run.

Environment + Health Projects

Wright State Way Pedestrian Bridge over Interstate 675

Wright State Way Pedestrian Bridge over Interstate 675

This project constructed a new 500-foot pedestrian bridge over Interstate 675…
OHFA Environmental Review Records

OHFA Environmental Review Records

LJB has been completing environmental assessments (called Environmental Review Records under…
Ohio Statewide Ecological Resources Surveys

Ohio Statewide Ecological Resources Surveys

LJB, as a subconsultant to EnviroScience, Inc. is providing state and/or…