Are your parks perfect? Reopening assets

Risk Matters - Winter 2020

Following COVID lockdowns expect people to flock to outdoor areas and other local government facilities. Prior to opening these public spaces as part of Phase 3, local governments should make sure they are ready to be used. Every facility should be assessed and any necessary maintenance completed.

A COVID Safety Plan will also need to be completed for every venue such as libraries, recreation centres and public pools. LGIS has developed some suggested controls to help members complete their safety plan. Outdoor areas and facilities should also be assessed. The South West of WA has already seen significant winter storms and outdoor facilities which may need to be repaired.

It’s important maintenance schedules are kept for any assets closed until Phase 3 or 4.

Cleaning outdoor areas

Outdoor areas, like playgrounds generally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfecting. It’s a waste of supplies and hasn’t been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public. Give plastic or metal equipment a routine clean. Wooden surfaces (play structures, benches, tables) and groundcovers (mulch, sand, soft fall) do not need cleaning. Debris should be removed from sidewalks and groundcovers. Unused public barbeques should be cleaned as per usual procedures and debris should be removed.

Is this a one-off?

Economists are predicting a global crisis like COVID-19 is unlikely to be a once in a century event. As our economies become more interconnected it is likely there will be future disruptions to the workforce and local governments.

As an example – a global cyber-attack could result in similar short-term shutdowns and while chances are remote, Western Australia could become a terrorism target.

It is therefore essential to review business continuity plans regularly and not just once a crisis hits.

Contact LGIS for support in navigating your re-opening and management of COVID-19 risks.

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