Coronavirus Covid-19 Group Policy
Statement by the Chairman
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having a significant impact on our daily lives, at work and at home. Measures have been announced by the government to seek to slow down the spread of this virus and it is essential that we all take action to protect ourselves and those around us during these challenging times.
The health and wellbeing of our colleagues and the businesses that we work with is of paramount importance to Barnfield. We are implementing appropriate measures to ensure that we can continue to deliver on projects as far as practicable whilst also providing a safe working environment for our people.
We created a working group of senior leaders to coordinate decision making and all communications. We have also appraised managers in every team in all locations to cascade information both ways quickly and sensibly. Keeping everyone informed on what is happening given the rapidly changing situation is key.
The Prime Minister’s daily announcements are reviewed by working group members and translated into actions and policies updated to all employees weekly or immediately where appropriate.
We have invested in improved electronic remote meeting technology and, on a case by case individual assessment, are facilitating work from home or flexible hours to accommodate those with school age children. By adopting a proactive approach we hope to ensure that risk is controlled, particularly for the most vulnerable both at work and at home, while maintaining core operations.
Face to face meetings and events have been cancelled, only absolutely critical face-to-face meetings will continue with attendee numbers restricted to decision makers only. We are encouraging the use of media and telephone conferencing as an alternative to meetings wherever practicable.
We have restricted movement of our workers between our 27 live current projects to minimise the spread of the virus such that any outbreak on one of our sites would not force the closure of others.
A range of awareness materials has been produced and posted at all workplaces, encouraging people to maintain optimal hand hygiene and cleanliness of all communal touch surfaces.
An increased cleaning regime has been introduced, disinfecting handles, handrails and other frequently touched surfaces at least twice daily, both on site and at HQ.
All in-person events and training have been postponed or cancelled.
We have carried out risk assessment to determine persons at elevated risk across the organisation, with one-to-one consultation provided to those identified.
We prioritised working from home for colleagues who are classed as vulnerable because they, or a member of their household, have underlying health issues. We also asked pregnant colleagues to work from home with immediate effect or those colleagues with pregnant partners.
In accordance with government guidance, any colleague who has someone in their household who is displaying any of the COVID-19 symptoms is required to stay at home for 14 days. Otherwise anyone presenting with symptoms is required to self-isolate for 7 days.
We are keeping a record of any colleagues who have self-isolated where they have displayed any of the symptoms of fever and/ or a new persistent, dry cough.
Site managers have been instructed to turn away any contractors presenting with symptoms. All workers on site have been briefed on the policy requirements and those with specific household and family difficulties are being assessed on an individual basis to determine what support can be offered.
We are very aware of the impact of such a stressful situation on the mental wellbeing of our team and will ensure regular communications to keep people connected. We have enrolled a number of personnel on stress awareness online courses and will continue to make this available as long as required.
Unknowns going forward
As the nature of the coronavirus’ impact evolves, this will present significant challenges to businesses. At the heart of a rapidly developing situation, it can be hard to know what decisions to take in the best interests of the long-term survival and success of firms.
Despite the unprecedented challenges, it remains critical for directors and management teams to proactively plan to mitigate the risks to their staff, business and stakeholders.
We have collected insight from across the organization and from our key stakeholders and supply chain on the key legal and business issues as a result of COVID-19. We will be updating our guidance and policy as the situation develops over the coming days, weeks and months.
We are committed to supporting our partners during these challenging times, and will work cooperatively with all parties to ensure continuity as far as is reasonably practicable.