The novel Coronavirus and subsequent Covid-19 is the greatest health crisis the World has seen in recent times.
The length of the incubation period, combined with its prolonged period of illness before becoming fatal, makes this a highly contagious and challenging infection, and thus one we at The Contact Company take extremely seriously. The health, safety and well-being of all of our colleagues is our number priority.
This communication outlines the steps we have taken since the very start of this pandemic to ensure we are able to continue to provide a service to our clients and their customers in our essential work, as well as providing much-needed employment opportunities here in the UK in the current climate, all whilst protecting our colleagues.
The Government has provided guidance for businesses to follow, alongside provisions to enable businesses to continue to operate in a safe and responsible manner. We have followed this guidance strictly at all times.
Throughout this pandemic we have worked closely with local government and public health bodies to provide them with visibility and evidence of the steps (outlined below) that we have and continue to take to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff. We have a good, working relationship with Public Health England and have adopted a pro-active approach to contact tracing to underpin and support Test & Trace, which is proving effective. We also work closely with environmental health bodies to arrange periodic site visits, so they can see the measures we have in place, as well as to ask for feedback in terms of any additional measures we can take to protect all of us here. As the largest employer in the Wirral area, our duty of care to the community we are a part of requires us to do all we can to keep our working environment safe and protected, as well as continuing to keep our colleagues in employment in such uncertain times.
We will continue to work closely and communicate regularly in an open, honest and transparent manner with all of our colleagues, clients and partners.
We at The Contact Company:
1. Planned ahead
We performed risk assessments and Covid-19 review meetings to identify and mitigate both current and potential risks posed by the novel Coronavirus to our colleagues and the business.
2. Communicate regularly with colleagues
We communicated with colleagues through very regular meetings and internal briefs (both in person and via our company-wide intranet and online learning platforms), ensuring communication channels remain open to allow colleagues to provide feedback and ideas. Posters and visuals have also been placed around all sites to remind colleagues of safety measures and expectations.
3. Intensified cleaning
We have greatly invested in rigorous cleaning measures. Since the very start of the pandemic, we have increased the intensity of our cleaning schedules, sourced more intensive products (including virucide canisters) and have also taken on additional cleaning contractors to perform regular deep cleans overnight.
4. Promote hygiene
We made hand sanitiser available at all building and floor entry and exit points, as well as at frequent touch points, with additional sanitisers available on all floors. We conduct regular level checks to ensure supplies are always available.
5. Operate a socially-distanced working environment
We introduced floor markings to highlight safe distances and created spaced out workstations, as well as limiting lift usage and introducing one-way traffic flows on all stairwells. We have also reduced seating capacities in communal areas, with Social Distancing Monitors present to separate any colleagues not adhering to expectations.
Our canteens are currently closed to prevent queueing and minimise footfall in communal areas.
6. Protect the vulnerable
We prioritised high-risk individuals for homeworking. We also have seating capacity set aside, away from the wider population, to allow high risk individuals who wish to remain in the office, or require office working, to work safely.
7. Control the risk of spread
We erected 3-sided physical barriers around all workstations, and introduced the requirement for floorwalkers and Team Leaders to wear face coverings whenever interacting in closer proximity to colleagues is necessary. We have reduced touchpoints by keeping non-secure doorways open at all times and we put an end to “hot desking”. We also invested in altering our air conditioning systems to pump all used air out and bring in only fresh air from outdoors.
We have also liaised with local authorities to implement a lateral flow testing facility on-site (for those without symptoms) and have been actively encouraging all colleagues to take regular tests to ensure we can follow our procedures for the isolation of confirmed cases and identify those who are asymptomatic at the earliest opportunity.
8. Support Test & Trace
As identified and requested by Public Health England, and in accordance with government guidelines, we maintain seating records for all colleagues daily to help identify anybody at risk of infection in the event of a confirmed case, as well as the details of any visitors. Only essential visitors are permitted to visit site(s) and all are required to complete a form declaring that they have no symptoms. This form details who they have come to see, where they have come from and captures the required details.
9. Prepared procedures for confirmed cases
In the event of a confirmed case, our cleaning contractor is contacted to attend the site in question on the same day as notification to perform deep cleaning. Those at risk are contacted in advance of Public Health England’s own Test & Trace process.
10. Ensured employee support was available
We created essential e-learning materials on social distancing for all employees to complete. Handbooks were also produced for all employees returning from self-isolation or home working, detailing expectations. In addition, mental health-related support materials and provisions have been made available to all employees.
We understand the impact this pandemic is having on many businesses and in turn, sadly, the livelihoods of many individuals. We are committed to supporting each and every one of our colleagues, doing all we can to maintain job opportunities in the local area, whilst remaining a responsible member of the wider community in which we operate. All of our colleagues are provided with mental health provisions and support (including; free access to the Medicash Employee Assistance Programme and Woebot, access to regular wellness articles and e-learning on our company health and well-being page, as well as having Mental Health Champions in place around the business) and we are committed to the health, safety and well-being of our colleagues as our first priority at all times. We have a great team spirit here at The Contact Company and we will continue to get through this as a team.