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01 Jul 2020

Behind closed doors cricket with Ian McIntosh

This week, we go behind the scenes at Emirates Old Trafford, with Health, Safety and Environment Manager, Ian McIntosh, to find out more about his role as the Club's Covid-19 Officer and behind closed door cricket.

What is your role in behind closed doors cricket?

I’ve got quite a varied role with behind closed doors cricket, as well as general health and safety around the site, I am the Club’s nominated Covid-19 Officer. This involves me reviewing Government guidelines and ECB documents to ensure our own documentation reflects this and we are adhering to everything that is being outlined.

I have also been involved with the return to training programme, for both the England players and Emirates Old Trafford and then for both England and Lancashire players at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club.

There’s been lots of planning for the arrival of West Indies in mid-June, as well as staff returning to work plans and a return to training for players and coaches. I’ve written training programmes for staff and contractors and visitors, and the staff training has a test paper which I mark.

I’ve been working closely with the operations team and event managers to ensure that everything we are planning will be safe and not pose a risk to anyone’s health. I’m also here to discuss any concerns that staff may have in relation to Covid-19 and returning to work. I think the pandemic has affected everyone and created a lot of uncertainty, so naturally people may remain anxious and worried. If anyone is, in the first instance I would suggest looking at NHS Wellbeing resources like ‘Every Mind Matters’.

How are you ensuring that the venue is safe?

The main aspect of my job is developing, writing and reviewing Risk Assessments and Standard Operating Procedures for all departments. It is then a case of making sure that these get implemented to keep everyone as safe as possible.

I have to review and approve all contractors Risk Assessment Method Statements and their Covid-19 policies to ensure they can work safely whilst on-site at Emirates Old Trafford. We provide them training information and they have to complete an ‘opt-in’ declaration to confirm that they understand what we are doing at the venue to keep people safe and that they will adhere to our rules and guidelines. I’m responsible for checking that all the signage that has been implemented is clear to follow.

I’ve also provided input to the enhanced cleaning regime that has been developed by Pete Ash and Susan Dawson.

What are the various protocols that you have implemented?

The two main protocols have been a return to training protocol for the players and coaching staff, and a return to work protocol for staff which outlines the procedures for accessing the ground and the rules to follow when on-site.

As I mentioned above, the opt-in declaration has also been introduced for all visitors on-site to confirm that they understand the protocols in place.

What does a typical day for you involve?

Each day always manages to throw up many new challenges, but keeping abreast of Government guidelines and information issued by the ECB is a key element.

I have so many emails to reply to – like everyone – which can be time consuming, but it’s important I respond efficiently and ensure I am on top of everything that we can be doing as a venue.

I’m responsible for checking the contractors on-site and making sure that they are following our rules and guidance. As you can imagine, there’s lots of documentation that’s going hand in hand with welcoming the West Indies squad and subsequent Test series, and the logistics of having staff on-site, so it’s important that all the documentation we receive and develop and managed properly. Becky Hartley has returned to work and is currently acting as a ‘documents office’, and doing a great job at keeping things organised!