Health and Safety in the Age of Covid-19: Insights From Our Expert

Even before Covid-19, Health and Safety has always been a top priority for WildChina Education. We recently sat down with Simon Drayton, our Health and Safety Expert, and discussed some frequently asked questions from families and schools.

About Our Expert

Simon Drayton discusses health and safety tips from an expert's perspective

Simon has 20+ years of Operational Crisis response experience. He has worked with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (UK) providing strategic level planning & front-line response for major incidents both in the UK and overseas. He has managed many large-scale incidents including major incident response and planning for Gold Silver & Bronze command levels. He also has 10+ years of Search & Rescue experience and is an Urban Search & Rescue response specialist. He has responded and managed many man-made and natural disasters both in UK and globally.

From your experience in roles managing health and safety, what’s the most commonly overlooked factor?

Communication. For example, if you have an Emergency Plan great, but if no one knows where it is, how to use or access it, what’s the point in having one? 

What’s an example of a scenario where someone could have prevented something bad from happening if they’d been trained in Emergency Response? 

Although it’s very difficult to say “we could have prevented it,” in most cases the impact can be reduced by a few of the following proactive and preventative measures: 

·        Formal safety policies and procedures in place

·        Implement control measures 

·        Guide & Local Partner Training 

·        Internal Staff training

·        Testing incident management plans

How does WildChina Education prepare for each program? 

With over 20 years of experience, we know how to prepare for the worst which is why we always:

·        Attend a pre-trip recce for health and safety inspection and risk assessment 

·        Obtain General Liability Insurance for all attendees 

·        Locate the nearest hospitals to the program site(s)

·        Arrange an emergency vehicle 

·        Prepare face-masks, hand sanitizer, and thermometers 

·        Carry first aid kits 24/7 

·        Ensure staff are appropriately trained for each activity

How does WildChina ensure that its staff are qualified for a program?

At WildChina we are most proud of the talented experts and local partners that we get to work with. In order to support this standard of excellence, all WildChina staff must pass the following:

·          Red Cross First-aid Training

·          Child Safeguarding Training

·          Crisis-management Training

·          Criminal Background Check

Have you been able to run any programs during COVID? 

WildChina Education has actually been able to run 8 different programs in 5 different provinces with over 500 hundred students and 0 cases of COVID reported. Here is some feedback on our Dulwich Residential in Beijing last year: 

“WildChina were meticulous in their planning and outstanding with their delivery of our recent Year 11 residential trip to Yanqing. Haena and the team provided DCB students an ultimately memorable, impactful and rewarding experience in the midst of a pressured exam year. We couldn’t be happier with how they had adapted their whole programme, tailored around the health and safety of the students post COVID. A fantastic few days spent and DCB are excited about future WildChina and DCB partnerships.”

–         Stephen Hurworth, Head of Student Wellbeing at Dulwich Beijing

Covid-19 has certainly made everyone more vigilant, but our approach to safety has always been the same. If you have any questions about our Health & Safety SOP or want more information about our Covid-19 policies, feel free to reach out at!

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