#WorkingSmartWithCovid19 is Worksmart Contracts’ plan to get our staff back to work, both in our offices and on-site, in the safest way possible. The health and well-being of our employees, clients and design teams is paramount during this time.
Below, we’ve listed the measures we’re taking as a company to ensure the safe return of our employees into our offices and onto our sites.
- In order to return to work safely, we are consulting with our external Health & Safety Advisors along with HSE, various construction industry bodies and our own experienced team. We are assessing and scrutinising every aspect of Health & Safety, while developing new procedures and updating old ones.
- Office Staff will continue to work efficiently from home and engage with each other through video and conferencing calls. When access to the office is necessary, it will be done on a rota basis with only so many staff members being in each zone at a given time.
- We will be consulting with key clients, scrutinising and assessing ways in which we can work better. Likewise, Worksmart will be engaging with our supply chain on how we can join the dots and create system to ensure the best possible outcomes.
- We are establishing a series of online training sessions with our Site Supervisors, Site Managers, Project Managers and Contracts Manager. This will be chaired by our Operations Manager and Health & Safety Consultant.
- Our updated Health & Safety documentation will be issued to our clients and their design teams for assessment before being implemented on site. Documents will also be sent to our extended teams & supply chain partners.
- All offices (on-site and off) will be fully sprayed and deep-cleaned before staff return. Additional cleaning regimes will be applied and carried out daily. Perspex screens/glazed partitions will also be utilised.
- New site inductions will be implemented. These will cover everything from arriving on site to First Aid, to new signing in procedures & parking. Daily updates and meetings will occur covering HSE, RIDDOR & more.
- There will be specific Risk Assessments and Method of Work Statements on how we can minimise risk of spreading the virus. We will assess the 2m social distancing rule and implement stronger measures if necessary.
- New procedures will be undertaken in staff offices. These will be similar to on our sites but specifically adapted to the office environments. Measures such as: thinning of work stations, additional cleaning processes, extra hand-san and wash stations, additional signage, desk booking system to work in zones, Perspex screens & glazed partitioning will all be introduced where necessary.
- We will carry out temperature checks using hand-held infra-red thermometers which can be held at a distance. From this we can ascertain who should self-isolate. This will be supported by COVID-19 posters to inform everyone before they come on site, enter the office, or use welfare and rest facilities.
- We will establish all PPE, sanitiser stations, wash stations, masks, glasses, goggles, gloves, etc required to minimise spread of the virus. Sites will be set up at the right time for everyone to arrive when permitted to return to work.
- Regular on-site cleansing in the form of large spray facilities will be used on each site by trained persons to spray general areas, sign-in stations, offices, welfare, toilets etc in order to help keep areas disinfected.
- We will help staff when it comes to planning their travel to work and ensure company van hygiene is maintained. All cleaning regimes, parking arrangements, public transport travel plans and restrictions will be carried out in line with government advice. We will keep our teams together and in their own geographical areas. No tool sharing will be permitted.
- Specific welfare arrangements will be made for tables, seating, cooking and preparation areas. People will be required to sit 2m apart and there will be staggered break times to keep numbers in these areas to a minimum. Special measures will be put in place for all washing and sanitization areas. Regular cleaning will be required, as well as the necessary waste removal procedures.
- We will be introducing one-way systems in the workplace where required to reduce potential contact with others going back and forward between zones.
- We will be holding all ‘tool box talks’ outside in the open air where and when appropriate. This will help prevent too many people being in an enclosed space at one time and prevent the spread of the virus.
- We will extend our permit to work process to include a working within 2m COVID-19 permit. This will be supported with an assessment to have to work within 2m and flow charts to try and assess other ways of working beyond 2m.
- Staggered start times will be introduced on-site and within our offices to help reduce transport on roads during congested times of the day, reduce queues into sites and signing-in stations. We will generally reduce the numbers of operatives and staff within each working area and our normal 8-hour day will become a 12-hour day utilising a flexi working approach.
- We will assess which trades are in any working areas at a given time. We want to minimise one trade mixing with another on site. This will involve extending the working day to have specific trades in certain areas at certain times, followed by their neighbouring trades in their own time. This will reduce numbers on site and we may have to bring weekends into play where applicable.
- The new way of working will require us to get familiar with the new practices, thus there will be a daily Tool Box Talk on COVID-19 and informative signage. We will also see the introduction of Worksmart Contracts’ COVID-19 site wardens. These wardens will be easily visible with their unique high-vis vests and are there to help remind us all in how we must work.
- We will reduce visitors to site and our staff offices as much as possible. The fewer people visiting, the safer it is for staff who need to be there. We will triage visitors and only bring people in on a must meet basis.
- Site meetings will be reduced, as the fewer people on site the safer it will be. We will be recommending more video calls and conference calls on various platforms to help visually understand matters and to continue relationships.
- We will reduce the need for clients and certain design team members feeling the need to attend site. We will support this digitally with video calls, conference calls, Facetime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams etc. We will utilise GoPro cameras to carry out safe walk-throughs on site and send films digitally where required.
- We will continually challenge ourselves and our supply chain on how we can work better and safer. We will assess the daily updates from the Government and HSE along with construction bodies to make improvements where possible.
- We will work closely with our clients and their design teams to assess safer ways of working and building what has been designed. We will be innovated in our thinking and adapt successfully to the new normal.
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