Memorandum to: All IBM suppliers, with specific instructions for suppliers who have employees accessing IBM premises
Subject: Pandemic Preparedness Protocol Requirements for Suppliers
In September 2008, we corresponded with you recommending that you consider including certain basic preventive measures in your pandemic readiness plans. At that time, we also mentioned that if the risk of a pandemic were to increase, IBM might provide additional suggestions and specific requirements for its suppliers--particularly those with personnel working on IBM premises. This memo is to provide additional information on the subject noted above.
IBM has been preparing for a potential influenza pandemic since 2005 when worldwide concerns about avian influenza surfaced, and we are closely monitoring the current situation involving H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu). IBM's pandemic strategy is directed toward protecting the health of our people and the safety of our workplaces, maintaining continued operations of critical functions and services, and supporting people and infrastructure required to perform these functions and services. Our plans identify business critical functions, services, employees, suppliers, applications, and sites required to support the IBM business enterprise and to help support our clients.
In the process of developing its pandemic response strategy, IBM has used the guidance of national and global health organizations, as well as strong industry practices for business continuity. The principles of IBM’s pandemic strategy are the following:
- Use scientific evidence and public health policy and intelligence to support decision-making
- Provide a consistent global framework with the flexibility to adapt to local conditions and to address rapidly-changing circumstances
- Communicate accurate, timely, and reliable information
- Comply with government mandates and directives, and demonstrate responsible corporate behavior
- Engage clients to develop awareness of common needs, and help coordinate pandemic plans
- Leverage experience and expertise gained from IBM pandemic initiatives to assist society
- Engagement of the IBM Crisis Management Teams worldwide
Requirements for suppliers who provide services at IBM locations:
As part of IBM’s preparedness activities, IBM is addressing this section to third-party suppliers that are critical to maintaining business continuity. As such, IBM is taking important steps to coordinate with these suppliers concerning these elements of our pandemic planning that will apply when any of your personnel are working on IBM locations.
The following are key components of IBM's plan:
- Hygiene education
- Social distancing
- workplace disinfection
- Personal protective equipment (select circumstances)
- Mechanisms to keep ill individuals from entering workplace
- Illness management practices
- Exposure notification .
Though there has been no disruption to IBM’s operations during the rapid evolution of H1N1 to World Health Organization (WHO) Pandemic Alert Level 5, we have conducted a risk assessment and a precautionary measure, IBM has implemented certain elements of our plan now. If you provide services at an IBM location, we are asking you to do the following immediately, as well as confirm to your procurement contact by June 1, 2009, that you have implemented these measures:
- Provide instructions to your employees not to come to work when ill. Individuals must not come into work for a minimum of seven days following the onset of influenza symptoms or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer (see Attachments, A - Work Instructions When Ill or Exposed, and B - Self Screening).
- Provide instructions to your employees on proper hand washing/cough etiquette. (see Attachment C - Hand washing and Cough Etiquette).
- Inform your employees that the IBM contract manager (e.g., the requester of contractor services) must be notified immediately of any known or suspected workplace influenza exposure occurring as a result of vendor/contractor infection. (Note, once the IBM contractor manager is informed of a known and/or suspected workplace influenza exposure associated with a contractor employee in the workplace, the IBM contractor manager will contact their local human resources partner for further assistance in order to engage the appropriate functional organizations to assist with workplace decontamination and any other actions deemed necessary based on consultation with IBM Integrated Health Services).
- Anticipate possible additional steps, including control measures to restrict ill individuals from entering IBM locations, and use of face masks by all of your employees.
- Inform your sub-contract organizations of IBM requirements.
We are providing the attached materials developed by IBM so that you might familiarize your staff with IBM workplace expectations. Should circumstances change, IBM will reassess our plans and determine whether additional elements will be implemented. As always, we will attempt to provide as much advance notice to you as possible.
A - Work instructions when ill or exposed
B - Self screening
C - Handwashing and cough etiquette
Thank you for your cooperation. Additional questions may be directed to your local procurement contact.
Louis R. Ferretti
Director, IBM Environmental Compliance
and Supply Chain Social Responsibility