Becoming COVID-19 Compliant
As we continue to respond to the challenge of working safely through the pandemic, our teams have been focused on how to keep delivering our services to clients, while protecting our staff. The safety and wellbeing of our employees has always been our highest priority. Thanks to the hard work and professionalism of our team, we’ve developed a solid compliance strategy to allow our teams to be safer whilst carrying out their work.
Head of Environmental Operations and Development Helen Griffin shared how B&A Group has been developing and implementing our strategy and ensuring our employees know how to work safely in this new season.
In May, the UK government issued all sector guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed on how to work safely during the pandemic. With teams working from our head office, as well as those working outdoors or on construction sites, we followed the guidance for offices and construction/outdoor working.
We carefully reviewed the different jobs within the company and their relevant procedures, which allowed us to understand the risks posed in light of COVID-19. We also created two risk assessment documents, one for construction/operational workers and another for office employees. These covered elements including social distancing in work, moving around the site, meetings, common areas and managing customers and visitors.
Alongside the risk assessments, we also created an in-depth working procedures document for teams, featuring step by step instructions, accompanied by photos for added clarity. All staff were given access to the document and encouraged to raise any elements not covered. While most staff have been encouraged to continue working from home, there are several roles which are critically operational to the business and involve being present on site.
In line with the guidance, we have implemented the following measures in our head office:
- Providing screens where any face to face contact is necessary
- Staff supported to work from home where possible
- Cleaning and hand sanitising stations on each floor
- Everyone has their own space (no hot-desking or shared workstations)
- Floor markings to maintain 2m distancing
- Staggered arrival times and break times
- Remote tools to avoid in-person meetings
Plus other measures designed to increase safety and minimise the risk of potential spreading of the virus. Most importantly, anyone with symptoms or the virus, or anyone who lives with someone who has symptoms is instructed to stay at home, in line with government guidance, self-isolating for the specified time.
The design of our office, with two staircases, means that we have been able to incorporate a one-way system to minimise contact. We also have separate kitchens on each floor, with a limit of two people at one time. Plus separate washrooms with basins.
For those employees that are able to work from home, managers ensure regular contact and keeping in touch regarding welfare and mental health, and that all necessary equipment is provided.
For our outdoor and construction site workers, measures we have implemented include:
- No vehicle sharing
- Driver signs tickets for clients
- Lunches to be eaten separately in own vehicle
- Regular cleaning of drivers’ cabs
- Drivers remaining in cabs while on client sites
So far, we are pleased to report that we have seen a smooth transition into this new way of working. This is largely due to the dedication and professionalism of our staff.
We are constantly reviewing these measures and our processes are ever-evolving as we move through this crisis to make work as safe as possible for our employees. Working together with our teams to implement workable solutions that protect us all.
To learn more about these measures and the steps we’ve taken to make our work environment safer for staff feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org.