The Safety Management System, or SMS, of an organization, is a set of rules and guidelines that define the proper procedures for an organization to follow in order to achieve optimal safety levels. In addition to general safety policies that cover the daily operation of an organization, a Safety Management System has Emergency Response Plans that help prepares for dangerous situations and minimize potential losses. An EPR may have such elements as contacts of people who must be notified, instructions designed to maximize safety, and some resources such as protective equipment, medical supplies, or anything that might be helpful.
For COVID-19 or any other pandemic of a highly contagious disease, timely safety management is critical. Ideally, the SMS should include measures to be taken at the initial crisis levels, as this is the only stage when the problem can be eliminated quickly and with minimal losses. The effectiveness of a safety management system in this scenario mainly depends on communication with other organizations or states.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to react in a way that could stop the crisis before it spreads, as was the case with the coronavirus. In this case, the ERP should have instructions aimed at preventing the spread of the virus within the organization or the state. The SMS should have general guidelines such as social distancing and hygiene, as well as a list of effective personal protective equipment. Organizations should also be ready to perform basic medical tests such as measuring body temperature to determine whether their customers and employees are healthy and not contagious. These basic methods would be effective for any pandemic scenarios, so one can expect an organizational SMS to include them.