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COVID-19’s Evolving Challenges

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Marsh’s Risk in Context podcast series helps listeners better understand key risks, build more effective insurance programs and think creatively about risk and resilience.

In early March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Almost two years on, the virus is still circulating. But this experience has taught organizations — and society — a lot about the importance of preparing for major crises. James Crask, resilience advisory lead within Marsh Advisory, Dr. Lorna Friedman, senior partner with Mercer’s Global Benefit Services, Tony Bahno, consultant within Marsh Advisory Consulting Solutions’ Workforce Strategies Practices, and Karen Cargill, management liability specialist and EPL product lead within Marsh’s UK FINPRO Practice, discuss the ongoing pandemic and how it’s affecting organizations.

On the human aspect of the pandemic:

“For many organizations, this was the first crisis they have experienced that was all about people, yet too few crisis and business continuity plans, in my opinion, paid sufficient allowance for managing the human aspects of a disruption.” — James Crask

On the shifting duty of care:

“The duty of care traditionally being looked at through the lens of what happens at the workplace, gets completely shifted when you talk about an infectious agent. Because then, the issue, and the issue for employees, is again their personal safety, but more importantly, the personal safety of their loved ones at home.” — Dr. Lorna Friedman

On the legal implications for employers:

“It really is a legal and ethical minefield that employers have had to navigate whilst continuing to run their businesses throughout this pandemic.” — Karen Cargill

On the need for organizations to take a broader view of risk:

“Organizations need to take a broad view of all the risks that are associated with their health and safety environments. Pandemic risks such as COVID-19 are not the only risks out there. There’s going to be future risks associated with climate change. … That’s a risk that many organizations, perhaps, are not necessarily paying attention to.” — Tony Bahno

James Crask

Consulting Director & Resilience Advisory Lead, UK & Ireland at Marsh Advisory

Based in London, James Crask leads Marsh’s business resilience advisory services and has extensive experience in delivering business continuity management, crisis management, supply chain, and operational resilience projects across a wide range of industries.

Dr. Lorna Friedman

Global Health Leader, Multinational at Mercer

Dr. Lorna Friedman helps design health solutions for multinational employee populations, including risk analysis, operational and benefit design, and onsite and digital delivery.

Tony Bahno

Senior Vice President of Marsh Advisory Consulting Solutions

Tony Bahno is a consultant within Marsh Advisory Consulting Solutions’ Workforce Strategies Practices, where he assists clients in reducing the costs associated with injuries, improving workplace efficiency, and developing a safety culture through management accountability.

Karen Cargill

Management Liability Specialist and EPL Product Lead at Marsh

A solicitor by background, Karen Cargill leads the Employment Practices Liability (EPL) team within Marsh’s UK FINPRO Practice.

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