1.0 Company Statement:
Dortech does work across a number of projects that have been defined as ‘critical’, by Graham Watts, the Chief Executive of the Construction Industry Council (24th March 2020). Some of the relevant project types include:
The Government has implemented stringent public health measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. While in general terms these measures prevent citizens from leaving their homes, the Government’s published guidance states that a person may leave their home if they are ‘travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home’.
For construction projects specifically, the Government made it clear that construction and manufacturing are two key sectors that must continue working, a point emphasised by Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick who said on Twitter, ‘If you can work from home, do so. If you are working on site, you can continue to do so. But follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing’. The point about construction remaining open for business was further reinforced on BBC1 breakfast news by Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove.
Furthermore, a letter from the Secretary of State to the UKs construction sector issued on the 31st March endorses the continuation of construction activity, so long as they are carried out in accordance with Site Operating Procedures published by the Construction Leadership Council. This letter also states that, ‘The Government has advised that wherever possible, people should work at home. However, we know that for many people working in construction their job requires them to travel to their place of work, and they can continue to do so. This is consistent with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice.’
As part of this process of ensuring we can continue to operate within the Guidelines stipulated by the Government, Dortech has implemented home working for the large majority of our staff. Not only does this protect them personally from higher risks of infection, it will allow us to facilitate our client’s demands in an effective way. As with many companies, we have adopted a video conferencing communications strategy and conduct daily managerial video conferencing meetings. During this change please continue to use the normal email addresses and telephone number you have previously used.
Our Factory personnel are all working under safe systems of work, under the guidance issued by Public Health England, which includes but are not limited to:
Our site teams are working in accordance with the Site Operating Procedures (SOP), which were published by the Construction Leadership Council.
We are keeping in constant communication with our suppliers to ensure supply disruption is monitored and minimised as far as possible. At this moment in time we have experienced some disruption to material supply with glass and aluminium profile supply from the continent, which may consequently affect our lead times across some, but not all of the projects we are involved with. Your respective company contact will be able to supply you with more information as it becomes available. Please also feel free to contact us at any stage should you require any further clarity.
We want to support our customers through this difficult time, so as long as our customers remain open and require supplies, we will continue to manufacture, deliver, install, or inspect & maintain as much as we are able to, provided it is safe to do so.
These are challenging times and the situation is constantly changing. Over the coming days and weeks, we will be reviewing our operations to ensure that we respond to these changing external conditions and Government guidelines.
2.0 Guidance for Employees
We have been monitoring closely the developing situation regarding the Coronavirus and we are following the advice from NHS, Construction Industry Council and the UK Government.
It is impossible to predict the full impact the virus will have on our business. However, we have looked at some possible scenarios and set out the Company’s position in this document, along with general information and advice.
3.0 What is Corona Virus (Corvid-19)
COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a type of coronavirus. It is an infectious disease. The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).
4.0 What are the symptoms?
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
5.0 What to do if you need medical help:
6.0 Are there any treatments available?
At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. WHO will continue to provide updated information as soon as clinical findings become available.
7.0 Measures to help stop the spread of coronavirus:
8.0 Company responsibilities
We reserve the right to ban unnecessary business travel, utilising all available technology and alternatives to travel and face-to-face meetings.
9.0 Site operating procedures – protecting your workforce
Andy Mitchell, chair of the government’s Construction Leadership Council and Construction Industry Taskforce regarding construction site operating procedures in light of covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
Construction sites operating during the coronavirus covid-19 pandemic need to ensure they are protecting their workforce and minimising the risk of spread of infection.
This guidance is intended to introduce consistent measures on sites of all sizes in line with the government’s recommendations on social distancing.
These are exceptional circumstances and the industry must comply with the latest government advice on coronavirus at all times.
If a site is not consistently implementing the measures set out below, it may be required to shut down.
Anyone who meets one of the following criteria should not come to site:
Procedure if someone falls ill
If a worker develops a high temperature or a persistent cough while at work, they should:
Travel to site
Wherever possible workers should travel to site alone using their own transport and sites need to consider:
Site access points:
Canteens and eating arrangements:
With cafés and restaurants having been closed across the UK, canteens cannot operate as normal.
Whilst there is a requirement for construction sites to provide a means of heating food and making hot drinks, these are exceptional circumstances and where it is not possible to introduce a means of keeping equipment clean between use, kettles, microwaves etc. must be removed from use. The workforce should also be required to stay on site once they have entered it and not use local shops.
Changing facilities, showers and drying rooms:
Avoiding close working:
There will be situations where it is not possible or safe for workers to distance themselves from each other by 2 metres.
Enhanced cleaning procedures should be in place across the site, particularly in communal areas and at touch points including: