In these unprecedented times, our health and safety team has worked relentlessly to continue safe delivery over the last two months by implementing stringent new procedures and educating our people, who in turn have coached our supply partners.
As a result, we’ve managed to operate safe sites and complete a number of high profile projects, receiving some fantastic feedback along the way. So as many across the sector get back to work, we thought the time was right to share a brief insight into our approach…
When lockdown came into force on 23rd March, we saw construction sites across the country close down overnight. With safety paramount, and rightly so, many organisations didn’t know where to start when it came to operating within the guidelines laid out by the government, and as a result, many projects ground to a halt.
Far from rolling over and ‘shutting up shop’, we quickly appointed a dedicated team to create a clear strategy to manage the unexpected challenges of COVID-19. The strategy, which focuses on four main areas – communication, cleanliness, co-ordination and containment – has helped us to control the risk across all our sites and ultimately, continue delivering successfully for clients over the past two months, while keeping everyone safe. The health and safety team was actually working on its COVID response for many weeks before the imposed lockdown, and as a result, we had implemented home working, reduced visits to site and enhanced cleaning before the first government guidance was even issued, meaning we’ve been able to react quicker to any following guidelines and have effectively been compliant before we’ve needed to be. This included making sure we had ordered adequate PPE and cleaning products to ensure we could continue trading safely.
As well as implementing the obvious social distancing measures; hand sanitiser at all entrances, imposing 2m rule, putting up posters etc, additional measures we’ve put in place include daily site manager inspections on COVID-19 compliance, visitor screening, three times daily cleaning, e-learning for staff and cleverly designed hi-vis which highlights social distancing good practice.
During this period, our post-contract teams have remained in place and we have continued to deliver 14 major projects, three of which we have completed – Capita Plc, JTI and Knights Plc. Thanks to the rigorous planning, we were able to continue working across these sites from the very start of lockdown, albeit at reduced productivity to begin with while our stringent safety procedures were introduced and tested. In fact, only one of our 14 sites was suspended briefly during this period, but this has since now reopened.
The success of these sites is due to the exceptional talents of our dedicated health and safety department, who have been able to navigate their way through a host of complex challenges with a strong zero tolerance approach. They have also worked tirelessly alongside our site management teams and supply line, to educate and support them.
To ensure we understand our customers and are able to continue to work with them in partnership during these challenging times, we have also been openly discussing their individual challenges – whether that’s delayed furniture delivery due to manufacturers halting production, or not being able to occupy their space because most are still working from home – and supporting them where possible.
Two months on and the positive feedback we’re receiving is a testament to the team’s hard work and dedication, and their ability to look beyond the challenges they faced. With a strong list of projects in the pipeline, we’re very much looking forward delivering more intelligent workplaces for clients as the year goes on. David Clemetson, MD, ADT Workplace