The COVID-19 virus has impacted everybody’s reality. But the effects differ across the world and we each cope with it differently. So what is that like if you are a health and safety professional? As a part of our ongoing series, today we interview Ad Vos, EHSQ Manager/Sr. Responsible Care Specialist at our production location in Waspik, the Netherlands.
“I am currently working from home, where I live with my family: my wife, our daughter, her husband and our grandson, our son and his girlfriend. Adding up to a total of 7 family members living apart but also close together under one big roof. Since I am, what they call, a high risk due to my medical history, I am religious about the social distancing and personal hygiene for the obvious reasons. My family is also taking this very seriously for my sake,” Ad states about his current situation. He continues: “80% of the time, my work can easily be done from my home. The international careway assessments, site inspections and site audits are activities that I cannot perform right now. But this gives me time to improve some elements in our local management systems.”
When discussing the situation specifically for his home country of the Netherlands, Ad focuses on social distancing: “The Netherlands is in, what they call, “intellectual lock-down”. A voluntary social distancing, that still allows for going on the street and to selected shops, but without socializing. A “1.5 meter economy” has been put in place, i.e. everybody must keep 1.5 meter distance from everybody else. Violation of the 1.5 meter rule is severely fined.”
As a health and safety expert, Ad sees the challenge for some to stay mentally balanced in this new world. “I am in the lucky circumstance that my family is close to me. We see each other almost daily and my grandson is with us every day. We have a large garden where we can play. I take my dog for a walk in the forest every morning, which is good for me as well as for the dog. Family and friends are on skype/facetime for the time being. I expect this for us to last for many months so we all need to make the best of it and take good care of ourselves and each other.”