Today’s last-minute cancellation of the fifth Test between England and India at Old Trafford, due to Covid fears in the touring party, shows the damaging effect the virus can still have on any organisation or business and across the value chain.
That’s the view of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), the global professional membership body for those responsible for safety and health at work.
The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed only hours before the final match in the Test series was due to start that it had been cancelled due to fears of further positive tests for Covid-19 meaning that India were unable to field a team.
Only a week ago, IOSH had called on businesses to “not let their guard down” and ensure Covid-19 doesn’t spread rapidly through workplaces. It warned that with children returning to school and people attending large-scale sports and music events again, many experts were predicting a rise in virus cases.
“This morning’s events at Old Trafford underline the serious impact Covid cases can have, not just on people’s health and wellbeing, which is paramount, but also in terms of their ability to work, to work safely and the impacts on productivity, lost revenue and corporate reputation,” said Ruth Wilkinson, Head of Health and Safety at IOSH.
“In addition to the concerns around the health of all those involved, and everyone wishes them well with a speedy recovery, the cancellation of the Test will mean huge disappointment for spectators who have bought tickets for the five days and all those who follow the action, as well as local businesses and others in the value chain.
“These are bottom-line as well as moral and social issues that could hit any organisation or business, not just high-profile cricket and sports teams, and so employers and organisations must continue to ensure they have robust measures in place to prevent and manage transmission of the virus to protect people” she added.
“The virus hasn’t gone away, with many thousands being infected daily in the UK alone and for some it is still leading to people becoming seriously ill.”
IOSH is offering a suite of free online resources around Covid-19.