28 March 2020

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 March 28, 2020
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Following the government announcements issued this week my professional association have issued the following guidance specific to ecology.

If you can do your job, or some activities associated with your job, without any risk of transmission to someone else then continue. Each and every activity requires a broader consideration of health and safety issues well beyond those normally associated with it, including taking account of scientific evidence on the ways in which the virus can spread and thinking through how your behaviour and activity may inadvertently facilitate transmission, directly and indirectly. If you cannot undertake the activity safely, then you must not do it, irrespective of ecological timetables or financial imperatives. Individual members should not undertake work, even when directed to by others, if they do not think it is safe to do so.

Please note that health and safety or animal welfare considerations are justifiable reasons for travel.

https://cieem.net/i-am/covid-19/cv19-advice-for-members/

I have carried out an additional risk assessment and identified the following key risks of transmission from my work that would mean there could not be no risk of transmission.

  1. Driving to site – the risk of a car accident is never zero and would put me in contact with rescue services, which both risks my infecting them and takes them away from the priority of dealing with the virus.
  2. Working with others or in public places – while there is no evidence that coronavirus is spread simply by being in the open air it is spread by being within 2m of another person. An approach of avoiding people is not practical for work purposes that may require being in a specific location.

Based on the above I have come to the difficult decision that. I will only be accepting survey work if.

  1. The work can be done by one person working alone.
  2. The work is part of a scheme that is essential for public safety or animal welfare, this has been agreed with the police and a police document to that effect has been issued.
  3. It is within walking distance of my home address.
  4. It can be carried out in a secure area that the public do not have access to and that can be accessed without contact with others – e.g a fenced compound with an entry code.

Any work that does not meet these criteria will be refused.

At this time I continue to be available for work that can be conducted from home such as desktop assessment. However I will keep the financial viability of running the business on this basis under constant review and may opt to suspend all services and ‘furlough’ myself in order to receive the available government support should that option be the more reliable way of continuing.

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