Risk Management Institute of Australasia (RMIA) has announced it will host a series of workshops to assist risk managers to address the worsening crisis.

With Prime Minister Scott Morrison activating Australia’s emergency response plan to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Risk Management Institute of Australasia (RMIA) have moved to host a series of one-day workshops to help businesses minimise the operational, financial and reputational risks the virus poses.

The sessions, which will be hosted in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in mid-March, are designed to assist risk managers, occupational health and safety managers and human resources develop plans to protect the health and safety of their employees, deal with the challenges in their supply chain and keep their businesses operating as the dangerous contagion spreads.

The RMIA’s CEO and Executive Director Jason Smith said: “The workshops will be led by industry experts who will deliver comprehensive information and tools to help organisations manage their business continuity and crisis plans in order to mitigate against the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The crisis around the coronavirus has clearly moved to the next level with the Australian Government expecting the virus to move to a pandemic phase and stepping up measures to prepare authorities for what is likely to be a sustained period of instability and disruption.

According to media reports, state and federal governments estimate a pandemic outbreak could last up to 10 months, 40% of the country’s workforce could be sidelined by illness or caring for family members, and Australia’s GDP could take a 10% hit.

“From what we understand, emergency measures are set to be deployed at hospitals, schools and aged care facilities. Some hospitals are preparing coronavirus specific wards, while schools are expected to be prepped for a pandemic response that could result in classes being reduced or cancelled. Border Force personnel have been called in to escalate screening at airports, as cases of the flu-like virus grow across the region.

“Our workshops will help managers identify the issues most likely to impact their business operations and ensure they are doing all they can to protect the health and safety of staff,” Mr Smith said. The sessions will be held in Sydney on March 10, Melbourne on March 13 and Brisbane on March 17. For more information, and to register go to www.rmia.org.au