Assessment of COVID-19 Barrier Effectiveness Using Process Safety Techniques
Turner, Lauren Elizabeth
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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes a respiratory illness called the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Bow tie analysis (BTA) was applied to analyze the hazard of SARS-CoV-2 for three receptor groups: patient or family member at the IWK Health Centre in acute care, staff member at a British Columbia Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) wood pellet facility, and staff member at the Suncor refinery in Sarnia, Ontario. An inherently safer design (ISD) protocol for process hazard analysis (PHA) was used as a guide for evaluating COVID-19 barriers, and additional COVID-19 controls were recommended. Furthermore, two communication tools were developed from the IWK bow tie diagram to disseminate the research findings. This research provides lessons learned about the barriers implemented to protect people from contracting COVID-19 and their corresponding degradation factors and degradation factor controls, and about the use of bow tie diagrams as communication tools. This research has also developed additional example-based guidance that can be used for the COVID-19 pandemic or future respiratory illness pandemics. Recommended future work is the application of BTA to additional industries, the consideration of ISD principles in other control types in the hierarchy of controls (HOC), and further consideration of human behaviour and human and organizational factors (HOF) in BTA.