Claudia Calder brings together dynamic risk assessments when wearing a mask. This includes the Person – Object – Place risk assessment technique.

As the country eases out of lockdown, what is going to be your personal policy on wearing a mask?

At the government briefing on 5th July 2021, Prof Chris Whitty gave his three circumstances on when he would wear a mask:

  1. Any situation indoors and crowded, or indoors and in close proximity to other people
  2. Required by a competent authority
  3. If someone else was uncomfortable with not wearing a mask, as common courtesy

However, Prof Whitty is a doctor and an infectious disease specialist, and probably without thinking, because of his experience and expertise, carries out a dynamic risk assessment whenever he enters a building/room/area and knows instinctively when a mask should be worn.

But what about those of us without a background in medicine?  How are we going to determine whether we should be wearing a mask?

At the end of the day, it is going to be a personal choice, so what are you going to do?

Dynamic Risk Assessments and Wearing a Mask

At Cardinus Risk Management, we have developed a simple acronym, so you can carry out a dynamic risk assessment, simply by remembering POP – Person – Object – Place.

Person – Are there lots of people about?  Do you know these people?  Are they wearing masks?

Object – Are there lots of objects or surfaces you need to touch, that have already been touched or could be touched by other people?  Not only have they been touched, have they been coughed or sneezed on?  It is always a good idea to wash your hands when you get home, especially if you have been on public transport.

Place – Are you indoors or outdoors?  Is the place crowded?  Are you going to be in close proximity to other people?  You are more likely to catch COVID or any other respiratory illness such as flu or colds being indoors.  When outdoors, the sun is a natural virus killer and there is plenty of wind to dilute any virus.

If you answered yes to:

  • Person – Lots of people
  • Object – Lots of objects and surfaces
  • Place – Indoors

Then, we would recommend you wear a mask, to protect yourself and others. We have written more about POP risk assessments and COVID when talking about our SOAP model, which provides a different framework for understanding dynamic risk assessments in the COVID workplace.

Would you like to learn more about dynamic risk assessments for your organisation? Email [email protected] or call 020 7469 0200.

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