17th March 2020
In view of the rapidly evolving global situation regarding the spread of COVID-19, we have put together the following guidance for all Power Testing clients, giving you the reassurance that we are doing all we can to ensure our commitment and quality of service are continued whilst also limiting the impact of the spread of coronavirus to our people and you, our clients.
Power Testing wishes to keep you regularly updated with our response to COVID-19 as part of our Business Continuity Procedure. We are actively monitoring the situation and its ongoing impact across the UK. Our thoughts are with all those that have been affected by COVID-19 and we wish to assure you that our focus remains to support the safety of our clients, their people & our team.
We have made extensive preparations across our business to manage resilience and maintain service delivery to our clients through this period of extended uncertainty. This guidance will be reviewed on a regular basis and in response to emerging information, updated and re-circulated where necessary.
In this challenging and uncertain time, our focus is on keeping us all as safe as possible by minimising the risk of the coronavirus spreading. We are all responsible for each other’s safety, as well as that cascading down to our family and friends. This is the time for support, flexibility and working together to overcome this unprecedented situation. At Power Testing Ltd, we are committed to the safety of all our people and clients, putting in place necessary control measures to limit risk whilst continuing to service our trusted clients.
Power Testing Strategy
Firstly, we highly recommend that all our people follow the Government and NHS advice and keep updated with any developments using trusted sources:
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap & hot water, especially after sneezing or coughing. Cough and sneeze into a tissue, dispose of immediately in a bin & wash hands as above or use hand-sanitizing gel. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance
- If you develop a new, continuous cough or high temperature, you are advised to self-isolate for 7 days. If you live with other people, you should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got the above symptoms. Should your symptoms worsen during home isolation or after 7 days, contact the NHS 111 Helpline. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Practice social distancing to reduce the social interaction between people, helping reduce the transmission of coronavirus. The guidance includes avoiding contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus, avoiding non-essential use of public transport, working from home where possible and avoiding large gatherings. Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults
Secondly, our strategy is one of constant communication, transparency and segregation to minimise the risk of any potential coronavirus outbreak infecting our workforce. This has three key advantages:
- Keep people safe by reducing the risk of transmission across the workforce and our clients.
- Keep people safe by reducing the risk of transmission to employees wider circle of family and friends.
- Enable less disruption to our operation by minimising cases of coronavirus.
So how are we going to do this?
Staff Risk Assessments
Firstly, we have undertaken a risk assessment on each staff member to determine whether they are a high, medium or low risk based on the following factors:
- Vulnerability groups: Based on published Government statistics concerning age and underlying health conditions
- Dependants: Who staff live with and their potential to contract the coronavirus.
- Dependants: Taking into account the vulnerability of the dependants that staff look after and the potential detrimental impact this could have on their dependant
Furthermore, all staff have completed our COVID-19 questionnaire on Monday 16th March 2020 to evaluate our immediate potential risk, with 4 x simple questions asked:
- Have you, your immediate family members or close work colleagues travelled abroad in the last 4 weeks?
- Do you have any holidays planned that includes travelling abroad? If so, when and to where?
- Have you come in contact with anyone that has travelled outside the UK in the last 14 days?
- Do you have any of the following symptoms, even if mild: a new continuous cough and/or a temperature and/or shortness of breath?
Any staff members deemed as high-risk following the above process have been contacted independently and safety control measures have been put in place, such as working from home in self-isolation.
The following control measures have been implemented to enhance segregation and therefore minimise the risk of transmission to enable efficient and safe working for our people and our clients:
- Consistent client teams for site staff, limiting the potential spread of any coronavirus outbreak across the workforce. These teams have been identified as low risk and each team are segregated from the rest of the workforce.
- Segregation of site and office staff, noting that the office is at a higher risk of transmission.
- 2 x dedicated Call Out Engineers to deal with our client’s emergencies, which are deemed low risk and are in segregation from the rest of the workforce.
- Tools and equipment collected & dropped off at allocated time slots for teams (out of office hours), which will be arranged & communicated by the Office Supervisor with each team leader.
- Returned tools and equipment to be left in a quarantined area and thoroughly disinfected.
- Reports to be dropped off each morning and left in a quarantined area for 24 hours.
- Operational staff to not attend the office unless directed by a member of the senior management team other than for daily collections/drop-offs out of hours and outside of the office building.
- No handshaking or any physical contact.
- Morning briefing to contain the following questions, included in our on-site risk assessments:
- Is anyone suffering from a consistent cough and/or fever?
- Have you knowingly been in contact with someone who is displaying these symptoms in the last 24 hours?
- Is the client aware of any known cases of Covid-19 within their premises or the working area?
- Frequent hand washing using soap and hot water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
- Coughing into a tissue and disposing of correctly.
- Be equipped with alcohol gel.
- Minimise direct contact with other members of staff and clients, maintaining a distance of at least 3 feet at all times.
- No use of public transport.
Any office staff member that has been assessed as low risk for themselves and others based on the mentioned criteria will be required to attend the Power Testing head office.
The following control measures are also to be implemented:
- Alcohol gel to be available and used regularly on entry to the building.
- Staff to use their own pen when signing in and out.
- Minimise direct contact with others: No handshaking or any physical contact.
- Frequent handwashing with soap and hot water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Maintaining a minimum of 3 feet distance from others.
- Coughing & sneezing into a tissue and disposing of correctly.
- Dishwasher to be emptied at the start of the day using disposable gloves or once hands fully cleaned with soap and hot water or hand sanitizer.
- Windows opened for fresh air ventilation.
- Regular cleaning using disinfectant for surfaces and door handles.
- Start of the day by the Office Supervisor (between 5-7 am)
- During the day (dedicated time to be allocated and rota to be drawn up)
- End of the day (dedicated time to be allocated and rota to be drawn up)
- Returned tools and equipment to be disinfected before being collected by another team.
- Deliveries to be left in a dedicated storage / quarantined area.
- Deliveries to be signed for using own pen.
- Designated cutlery per office staff member.
- All office staff to make their own drinks and food.
- All cutlery to be loaded into the dishwasher.
- Undertaking only essential meetings in smaller groups and in larger spaces.
- Postponing all non-essential training and meetings.
- Air-conditioning not to be used until instructed otherwise by a senior manager.
Furthermore, all office staff are capable of working from home should things change overnight, maintaining the operation of the company remotely.
Should any of the designated office staff contract coronavirus and go into self-isolation, a deep clean of the head office will take place immediately and all remaining office staff will work remotely.
Additionally, the medium to the high-risk office staff that is to work from home, will be contacted to review their current situation to determine if they could provide cover if deemed necessary.
Working From Home
For office staff working from home, business continuity testing has already been completed, ensuring they can fulfil their job role remotely on an ongoing basis.
Crisis Management Team
Our crisis management team, continue to meet remotely and using technology, assess and review the situation in order to ensure we are suitably prepared for any further significant developments, of which we will, of course, keep you updated.
We hope the control measures we have put in place give you peace of mind that we are doing all we can to protect our people and our clients from this outbreak.
As ever, we are committed to supporting our clients, delivering a first-class service and ensuring safety comes first.
Kind regards during these uncertain and challenging times,
Chris C Park
Power Testing Ltd