While the impact of the new highly-transmissible omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus remains unclear, it is of sufficient concern for many governments around the world to have announced additional precautionary measures. Our protocols and measures across all of our UK sites have remained consistent throughout and will continue for the time being.
As some parts of our business head into the seasonal period with significant maintenance stops involving many transient workers, our on-site testing ability is more important than ever.
In the last 12 months, we have performed around 35,000 COVID tests and identified well over a hundred positive cases across our UK sites, much reducing the chance of our onsite workers being exposed to the virus in the workplace, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been involved in this process to help keep our workplace safe.
No less important is maintaining good COVID standards across the patch, and that is the responsibility of everyone working in offices and plant areas on our sites.
As we head into the Christmas period, please make sure you have sufficient supplies of sanitisers and sprays etc. and you take a fresh look at risk assessments both in work and for home working.
• If you are displaying COVID symptoms you should not come to work until you have received a negative PCR test
• Government guidelines now vary depending on your home country with respect to the actions you should take if you come into ‘close contact’ with a positive COVID case. These rules are also changing quite quickly with changing circumstances – so please use the website links in the FAQ document to check the specific rules for your home location
• Where it is safe and effective to do so, employees should work from home wherever possible – managers may want to revisit any existing hybrid arrangements for their teams locally
• Facemasks should be worn in all indoor areas with the exception of personal workspaces – desks, control units etc.
• 2m social distancing should be maintained at all times. Where this may be impractical or pose additional risks, suitable personal protective equipment should be worn
• Renewed consideration should be given to the advisability of holding any events, conferences or large meetings face-to-face
• Those travelling together to site and on site should also restrict numbers within a vehicle and distance themselves appropriately
• Frequent hand-washing and good hygiene measures in workspaces—especially high touch points—is encouraged
Home testing Lateral Flow Device tests are also freely available for employees and contractors on most of our major sites—I would strongly advise that irregular site attendees take a lateral flow test before coming onto site, especially after the longer Christmas break.
Cases in our business have remained thankfully low, but as we have learned over the last two years, things can change very quickly and it is right to remain cautious to keep our business safe and to maintain business continuity.
Thank you for your ongoing conscientiousness and discipline.
See here “Frequently Asked Questions” document for your reference.
Head of Governance, Health & Safety
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