Disclaimer: This is a work in progress. We are working on tuning the score calculations and adding additional
Annexure-I: Read WHO’s guidelines for workplace readiness. Some excerpts from the WHO guidelines are given below.
Annexure-II: Excerpts related to COVID-19 precautions, taken from from the NDMA (GoI) Guidelines for restarting manufacturing industries after lockdown, can be found here.
Annexure-III: Standard Operating Procedure for industrial, commercial establishments and private offices during COVID-19 suggested by Government of Karnataka can be found here.
The COVID-19 readiness indicator is jointly developed by the Centre for Networked Intelligence, Indian Institute of Science,
and the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority.
Open-source code (under Apache-2.0 license) for this tool is available at github.com/cni-iisc/workplace-readiness.
India is going through a tough phase of a global health scare COVID-19 pandemic. Government is taking up all possible measures to keep a check on the spread of this disease within the Indian community. These include social distancing, isolation of those people suspected to be carriers of this contagious virus and a appropriate period of lockdown.
Lockdown restricts all activity assuming they all have equal epidemiological risk. However, many activities with low epidemiological risk could continue, if suitable precautions are taken on social distancing, hygiene and sanitation, limited direct contact between employees, employees and customers and other appropriate precautions. Organisations are more aware of the nature of their activities while the social planner has a broader perspective of the epidemic state, economy, and the associated public health and economic risks.
The end of the lockdown does not automatically mean a return to the old “normal” and the opening will take different shapes, with different regions, and different business sectors opening up in different ways and at differing speeds. The virus still lurks and the ability to contain its spread will dictate what happens next; any resurgence will likely bring about renewed restrictions. Organisations will need to take a holistic approach to restarting. Emerging from lockdown, organisations and workplaces will need to be more vigilant about health and improve their standards on safety. They will need to bring in improved products and services that adhere to rigorous health and safety conditions, and should be able to show or explain them to their employees, customers and authorities.
The very first priority of any organisation during a pandemic is the safety and well-being of its workforce. Organisations must assess whether their employees are safe, followed by whether they are available to perform critical functions. It is important for organisations to be able to monitor the situation, provide a safe workplace and offer their employees the support that they need. This readiness indicator will enable organisations to understand their current level of preparedness and key risk areas. It also helps in planning and in establishing pandemic-specific policies, procedures, and necessary management practices. From a pandemic planning perspective, organisations could pay closer attention to the geographical concentration of critical activities and functions, and their segmentation for work transfer to alternate locations, sites and shifts. Organisations must create requisite capabilities, practice relevant standard operating procedures and conduct brief pandemic training with employees to enhance employee and organisational preparedness to respond effectively to COVID-19 pandemic.
To help organisations and agents navigate this difficult environment, the COVID 19 Workplace Readiness Calculator provides not only a quantitative readiness score but also suggestions on measures so that they could relaunch economic activities in a safe and compliant manner.
We propose a soft-touch approach that could help us in the emergence from the lockdown. It keeps the best interests of organisations in mind while balancing the broader social objectives of public health and livelihoods. The social planner, taking the broad epidemic factors and social objectives into account, suggests a simple readiness threshold. If agents and firms operate within this threshold, the epidemic could be better handled by the healthcare providers. Organisations then respond to this threshold by identifying their best mix (shifts, precautions, advisories, etc.) so that they can continue to operate as long as they meet the readiness threshold.
Organisations have the power to decide for themselves how best to maximise their productivity, given the advertised epidemic-readiness threshold. Further, it also gives the social planner a means to respond to an emergency or a waning public health threat, by adaptively raising or lowering the threshold readiness level.
There are ten specific readiness indices, one for each sub-heading. Some of these are weighted combinations of various precautions and awareness actions taken by firms. Others are roughly proportional to the doubling rate of a hypothetical infection, if contacts were to take place at rates deduced from the input data.