COVID-19 Policy

COVID-19 Policy

48. MANAGING COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) AT WORK POLICY AND PROCEDURE

48.1 ABOUT THIS POLICY

48.1.1 The Company has the absolute aim of ensuring that all Employees are kept safe at work at all times, and have put in specific additional measures which will be undertaken during Covid-19, and any future subsequent pandemics.

48.1.2 The Company intends to follow Government / HSE advice at all times and has put in place several measures including but not limited to:

• Face coverings to be worn when moving around buildings and in common areas;
• Marked 2 metre gaps on all office floors;
• Where possible Identification and signage for ‘one way’ movement systems to prevent staff crossing in narrow corridors;
• Reminder signage in all areas;
• Closed meeting rooms for all but absolutely essential gatherings; If you attend an essential meeting, face coverings to be worn by all attendees unless they are able to adhere to Strict 2 metre distancing.
• Removal of some chairs in canteens to ensure 2 metre social distancing;
• Desk dividers where strict 2 metre distancing is not possible;
• Provision of additional soaps/Anti-bacterial hand wash for handwashing;
• Ventilation maximised. Air conditioning on a low setting. Windows opened where possible (and practicable);
• Increased cleaning regime in line with Public Health recommendations.

48.1.3 The Company’s general policy is laid out below and will be used in conjunction with a newly developed Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Risk Assessment.

48.1.4 This policy is not exhaustive, it is impossible to foresee every possible scenario in a complex business across diverse premises, so should Employees see opportunities for improvements they should raise them using the staff suggestion scheme marked as ‘Coronavirus Policy Idea’ and these will be immediately reviewed for suitability.

48.1.5 All Employees have their part to play in the success of this policy, and any system in place is only as good as compliance to this system by all.

48.2 SICKNESS (INCLUDING CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS)

48.2.1 Employees must follow Government advice on actions to take if they develop symptoms. The most common symptoms are:

• A new continuous cough and/or;
• A high temperature;
• A loss or change to sense of smell or taste.

48.2.2 Employees MUST NOT ATTEND WORK IF THEY HAVE SYMPTOMS. Employees should report their absence in line with the Company’s Absence Management (Sickness) Policy & Procedure (Section 2 of the Employee Handbook) and comply with the Government’s latest guidance on isolation.

48.2.3 Should an Employee at any time feel that they have developed symptoms whilst at work, they will be immediately isolated from other Employees, and will be refused access to their area of work. These Employees will be sent home and instructed to follow current Government advice on self-isolation.

48.2.4 All surfaces that a symptomatic person has come into contact with will be cleaned and disinfected accordingly.

48.2.5 Absence from work will be treated in accordance with the Absence (Sickness) Policy, and Employees will be paid in accordance with their sick pay entitlement.

48.2.6 Failure to report symptoms may lead to disciplinary action and in extreme cases will be treated as gross misconduct.

48.3 ENTRANCE, EGRESS TO AND FROM SITES

48.3.1 At all times when driving, cycling and indeed walking onto site Employees must be aware of other Employee movements. Employees should not exit their vehicles until the area around them is clear and 2 metre social distancing can be clearly achieved. Similarly, when walking / cycling Employees must not enter an area or put themselves in a position where they cannot maintain 2-metre distancing.

48.3.2 Car journeys should preferably be single occupant only unless sharing accommodation. However, in the event that car sharing is sensible, face covering must be worn by all parties throughout the journey and additional hygiene precautions such as using hand sanitiser after opening door handles etc.

48.4 CLOCKING IN AND OUT

48.4.1 To eliminate risk at Clocking-In Machines, all machines will be adjusted so that Employees do not have to touch the machines, instead, Employees will be able to clock in by waving their fobs in front of the machine. Employees who are able to, can also clock in and out on individual PCs.

48.4.2 Allowances will be made for time taken to ensure social distancing. Clear occurrences of lateness however will be treated in the normal manner and logged by the Supervisor on the Time and Attendance System.

48.5 SOCIAL DISTANCING

48.5.1 Employees MUST endeavour to remain at a minimum 2-metre distance from each other at all times. Where this is not possible, a face covering or visor must be worn.

48.5.2 Employees MUST follow and comply with all signage indicating movement direction and spacing.

48.5.3 All staff are to AVOID non-essential contact with others and physical contact such as; hugs, handshakes etc.

48.5.4 All internal doors will be left open to avoid unnecessary touching.

48.5.5 Desks/workstations will be moved and relocated to ensure 2-metre segregation is maintained.

48.5.6 Where relevant, in addition, remote working will be used to ensure adequate spacing for all Employees.

48.5.7 If an Employee has a task to undertake that cannot be safely carried out while maintaining the social distancing requirements, (this might be moving heavy goods or unloading in a confined space), the Employee will be provided with the necessary PPE to enable them to carry out this task safely. Employees must, under no circumstance either attempt to undertake a two-person task on their own nor should they start such a task without already wearing the correct PPE.

48.5.8 Flagrant failure to follow Social Distancing rules will be treated as a clear breach of Health and Safety rules and will be treated in accordance with the Company’s Disciplinary Policy & Procedure (Section 13 of the Employee Handbook).

48.6 PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

48.6.1 Employees will be required to wear a face covering when moving around our buildings, and in common areas. This means that the only place you are not required to wear a face covering is at your workstation, and then only if you are able to adhere to strict 2 metre distancing. If you are not able to maintain this 2-metre distancing, a face covering must be worn. If you have to attend a meeting, face coverings must be worn by all attendees, unless they are able to adhere to STRICT 2 metre distancing.

48.6.2 In all cases, any employee required to visit external premises on work business, (i.e. other businesses/ retailer), must continue to adhere to STRICT 2 metre distancing, and all safety and hygiene measures in place by external premises. In all cases any employee who is required as part of their role, to visit customers at home, MUST wear a face covering before entering a customer’s residence and all points throughout the visit, unless STRICT 2 metre social distancing can be maintained at all times and the customer is in agreement. In the case of Service Engineers, face coverings and the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment as supplied is to be worn throughout any visit.

48.6.3 Where close working is essential, face coverings and/or PPE MUST be worn even at workstations. The Company will provide appropriate PPE (to include face coverings and visors) should it be necessary for Employees to breach the 2-metre distancing, e.g. lifting or moving heavy equipment where this cannot be done safely in any other way.

48.6.4 The Company will fix desk screens where strict 2 metre social distancing cannot be maintained.

48.7 FACILITIES

48.7.1 Toilets: At each entrance to toilet facilities, there will be an occupied/unoccupied sign. The Company will operate a ‘reduced capacity’ policy. On every occasion, Employees must use this sign to advise others that the facility is either free or in use.

48.7.2 Canteen: Enhanced cleaning will be in place. Employees should ensure that they assist in maintaining hygiene around these public areas. Hands should be washed frequently and any spillages should be wiped using the detergent provided. No dirty plates, cups or cutlery should be left in any of the sinks or in the kitchen area. These should all be thoroughly washed using detergent and returned to the cupboards.

48.7.3 Microwaves, toasters and oven facilities will not be in use until further notice. This is to avoid delay to other Employees being able to access the canteen areas.

48.7.4 Fridges will be in use to store milk only. No personal items are to be placed in fridges until further notice. This is due to the risk of cross contamination in fridges through close proximity of containers brought from home.

48.7.5 Access to Canteen: There is insufficient space in company canteens to give full access to all Employees whilst maintaining 2-metre distancing. All canteens will only contain the number of seats required to maintain distancing. As each premises is different local supervisors will take appropriate steps, to include staggered breaks, allowing food to be consumed at place of work (where safe & hygienic to do so) in order to maintain distancing.

48.7.6 Sharing of food, such as bought in cakes etc. is not permitted. The only food that can be shared is if it is brought in pre-packaged and individually wrapped, even this we would discourage where possible.

48.7.7 Food Vans: Will not be returning to the premises in the near future.

48.7.8 Tea & Coffee Making: When making drinks, Employees must wear face coverings and maintain social distancing. This will reduce the number of people who can be in the kitchens at any one time.

48.8 HOMEWORKING

48.8.1 Where practical and possible home working will be supported. This may be on a rota basis combined with office working. Departmental heads will manage office attendance to maintain social distancing. Employees should refer to the Company’s Employee Handbook, Section 45, Working From Home Policy & Procedure.

48.8.2 In addition to the Working From Home Policy & Procedure, Employees are permitted to work from home, where possible, 5 days out of 10 working days. This would normally be a maximum of 2 days working from home one week, and 3 days the following week. Employees are not permitted to work at home for 5 days one week, and then from the office the following week.

48.9 CLEANING PROTOCOLS

48.9.1 The Company has put into place increased cleaning protocols, and specific areas will be cleaned three times per day with an approved virucidal disinfectant. This list includes (but is not exhaustive to) the cleansing and sanitising of:-
• Door handles
• Door Touch /push pads
• Vision panels
• Hand rails
• Communal / rest areas
• Toilets

48.10 MENTAL HEALTH

48.10.1 Managers will promote mental health and wellbeing awareness to staff during the Coronavirus outbreak and will offer whatever support they can to help.

48.10.2 There are useful organisations, which can also offer support/guidance regarding wellbeing.
www.mind.org.uk
www.hseni.gov.uk

If any member of staff becomes anxious or is concerned for their mental health, please contact your line manager or HR for support and advice. The Company has qualified Mental Health First Aiders who will be able to provide appropriate support.

48.11 VISITORS AND CONTRACTORS TO SITE

48.11.1 During any pandemic visitors and contractors to site should be kept to a minimum and only attend the Company’s premises when essential. All visitors to site must complete a Visitor to Site Form (available in Public Folders) and provide the required information on the day they are attending site.

48.11.2 All Visitors and Contractors should complete the Company’s ‘Visitor to Site Form.’

48.11.3 The Employee who has invited the visitor or contractor to site will be responsible for the completion of this paperwork, and their safety, ensuring they adhere to the COVID procedures implemented throughout the Company.

48.12 PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

48.12.1 Whilst this policy clearly sets out the steps the Company is taking, Employees all have a personal responsibility to act responsibly to protect themselves and others. At all times Employees should use common sense to support the Company in ensuring the workspace is a safe environment during the pandemic.

48.12.2 All Employees have a duty to take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions at work.

48.12.3 All Employees will be required to read and sign the Company’s “Working during the Covid-19 Pandemic Risk Assessment”.

48.13 EMERGENCY RESPONDERS AND FIRST AID

48.13.1 The Company, whilst following the guidelines of the HSE (Health & Safety Executive), recognise that during this pandemic, we may not be able to continue to obtain and renew our Emergency Responders or First-Aid training provision, and will ensure that we can still provide the cover needed for the Employees that are present and the activities that we are doing.

48.13.2 The Company will be issuing new guidance regarding Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and best practice to all relevant staff when administering first aid, which has been published in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic crisis.

48.14 WHISTLE BLOWING

48.14.1 Employees should refer to the Company’s Whistle Blowing Policy & Procedure, (Section 44 of the Employee Handbook).

48.14.2 If Employees at any time, feel that they are being asked to carry out tasks that they consider breach guidelines, they should immediately raise these with their Line Manager. If any concerns are not addressed they should be raised with the Employee’s Line Director who will be responsible for logging this with HR and passing to the Health & Safety team for full investigation.

48.14.3 Employees are to avoid contact with any person(s) who are unwell and they are to inform their supervisor/manager immediately if they suspect someone is displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

48.14.4 Results of any investigation will be shared with both the Employee and their Line Manager and where appropriate steps will be taken to address the situation.

48.14.5 The decision of the Managing Director, or in his absence, the Company Secretary, as to the actions required to be taken following any report are final.