Safer Sphere Covid-19 Business UpdateLisa Mitchell
Following the government announcement of the planning for the Coronavirus pandemic on Friday 13th March. Safer Sphere confirms the following as the business policy and contingency plan amendment:
- As of the 16th March we are entering the delay period. Schools, hospitals, colleges, retail and business are advised to operate as normal during this period, taking precautions where possible being vigilant.
- When and if the time comes and the government instigate the next stage of isolation including closing of schools, hospitals, etc, then we also as a business will fully isolate in accordance with our policy.
- Only when the government indicate the pandemic enters a stage of low risk shall we return to our normal business procedures and activities.
- Should any member of staff or close family feel unwell, demonstrating the COVID-19 symptoms of constant cough, difficulty breathing or high temperature, they should not come to the Safer Sphere workplaces or that of any of our clients / projects. You should self-isolate in accordance with government guidance for a minimum of 7 days. Anyone showing the symptoms in our offices will be isolated in accordance with our emergency planning below.
- Personal hygiene is also an important preventative measure to curtail the spread of the disease. Please use the provided and appropriate hygiene facilities such hot water, soap, hand sanitiser and bins to dispose of used tissues. Workers are advised to maintain good hygiene standards around the workplace by following the latest advice from the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) website which includes the following basic protective measures:
- Wash your hands frequently with alcohol-based hand wash or wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Maintain social distancing- maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet distance) between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose
- Practice respiratory hygiene – Using the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
- Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. In the UK, the National Health Service (NHS) has advised people to stay at home for 7 days if you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.
- In the delay phase, staff should avoid business events or gatherings of large numbers of people in line with the government advice. This would include large networking, awards, conferences and other such events. This would not currently include site visits or meetings.
- However, should you or any of your family be considered vulnerable to COVID-19, for example the over 60’s and young children or immunosuppressed, then the company would fully support isolation in the delay phase.
- With immediate effect, no business travel abroad will be authorised until the Pandemic returns a low risk level to that country.
- If and when the isolation phase is instigated, the company operations shall cease at our premises and staff will not be permitted to visit any sites or project meetings.
- Should someone in the workplace become ill with suspected COVID-19 on Safer Sphere premises, the individual will be isolated and contact be made with the local health authority. Isolation should be in separate rooms which for St. Helens and Liverpool Offices should be a meeting room. For Reading office please follow the Regus Office procedures. Following such a case the office in question would be closed for 7 days of isolation and a deep clean.
- Should someone become ill with suspected COVID-19 on a site or other employees premises, the staff member should follow the immediate policy of that premises / employer, if not available then aligned to our own. Safer Sphere should be notified ASAP of the incident in order that we can support you remotely with next steps.
- In the case of any isolations required as noted above in the delay or isolation stages the following would apply:-
- If you are not unwell, please continue to work from home. You and the company have access to the resources via laptops, phones, Microsoft 365 to continue working in remote isolation. It is likely our clients, partners and peers will be following similar principles so our work can largely continue. To communicate collectively we have Microsoft Teams so we can still follow meetings through.
- Should you be unwell other than COVID-19 then our normally sickness policy would prevail.
- Should you be sick or self-isolating unable to work, the government provision is that statutory sick pay is an entitlement from day 1 of COVID-19 related leave or non-working isolation.
- Clients and project teams should be notified if there are any isolations required in the delay phase. They should be informed by the persons immediate line manager and it be confirmed that as far as possible colleagues will support the project deliverables in the meantime.
- Under no circumstances should staff have any physical contact with any other members of staff under isolation. This would include prohibiting visits to pass on documents or other material, anything can be obtained electronically.
- If and when the isolation stage is instigated by government, all staff are to isolate working from home and all Safer Sphere premises will be closed.
Safer Sphere will continue to support our client’s projects and health and safety needs through any advised isolation period and will remain available through email, skype and mobile.