27/02/20, CLC gave advice to staff relating to symptoms, how to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19, at this time there had only been 15 confirmed cases in the UK and over a week before the sad news of the first COVID-19 related death. Since then CLC has provided regular updates to all office staff and those working from home on the ways to work while staying healthy.
CLC has also presented Toolbox Talks to all operational/site-based teams in small groups, at staggered intervals to ensure correct social distancing. These have been updated and presented weekly (15 updated versions have been delivered). The topics have included how to avoid COVID-19 inc recognising the symptoms (both at home and at work), how to avoid passing it on and any procedures that have changed to eliminate or reduce the risk.
A comprehensive risk assessment was created with consultation with our staff, which breaks down the hazards for each of the different work types inc office working, depot and site-based activities. It shows our assessment of the risk before any corrective actions were taken and then shows the corrective actions followed by the residual risk. These corrective actions have been added to the updates and Toolbox talks whenever updated. Most risk assessments are updated annually, however in just a few months our COVID-19 risk assessment is now on version 4 and has been updated following the advice from government sources and other reliable sources including our clients who have issued specific Key Worker advice.
Our Business Continuity Plan (BCP), which is a strategic document, describes our actions when faced with a major unforeseen event. Pandemics were included in the original which was reviewed during our ISO 45001 audit. COVID-19 was unprecedented with nothing like it seen in a lifetime, and so the BCP was updated and an addendum was added specifically for COVID-19. This was published around the middle of March following a COVID-19 Planning Meeting and sent to our clients.
Processes were changed, teams cohorted and paperwork reduced or quarantined until safe to handle. Increased cleaning regimes introduced with named staff responsible for additional cleaning of touch points. Staff were identified to work from home where possible with those that remained moved to increase distancing by adapting offices and re-rolling training rooms. Additional sanitiser and hand-washing facilities were provided. We took the proactive measure of using Ultra Low Volume Fogging in our depots. Normally only used after an outbreak. However, we saw it as an opportunity to ensure our facilities were free from viruses/bacteria while also having the effect of giving confidence to our team. Upgraded PPE was purchased and issued after training to enhance the protection of our staff, while freeing up the types in short demand and desperately needed by the NHS.
We are confident the measures we have taken have dramatically reduced our staff’s exposure to the virus, but only where they follow our guidance and advice. We have been able to maintain our essential work ensuring wholesome water continues to flow to households, vulnerable customers, hospitals and businesses. During this time, we have successfully managed to maintain Key Worker delivery without a single confirmed case of COVID to date. Any staff who displayed possible symptoms were immediately asked to self-isolate. No confirmed cases of COVID 19 have been recorded at CLC to date and we are immensely proud of this collective success by working together with staff, clients and the public.
During the ‘Lockdown’ CLC Staff continued to provide service to customers and clients in a harder working environment due to additional PPE, spacing and processes. It is due to their selfless dedication and commitment to accept and follow the measures put in place, that we can say we have and continue our part in helping the country, the NHS and the people during this pandemic. The Directors are very grateful to all staff for their efforts during this period.
Note from the CEO.
‘’The COVID Pandemic took the whole world by surprise and nobody was prepared for the eventual outcome, indeed, many Countries and Businesses are struggling to keep pace with its savage infection rates and subsequent death toll. I shall be eternally grateful for the diligent and serious attention Chris Willis and our brilliant staff gave this unforeseen event from the very beginning, by working closely with our clients and public during our Key Worker status, we have helped reduce the burden on the NHS from our activities to zero, well done to everyone and please keep safe’’!