This page was last updated on: 9th April 2020.
We wish to assure our customers, and other stakeholders, that we take the risks of Covid-19 very seriously. On a personal level, our staff have friends and family who are exceptionally vulnerable at this time, so we are as keen to protect them from the dangers, as we are to protect our customers, and the wider population. It is of the utmost importance that we deal with the risks properly, as lives are literally at stake.
Everyone is in lockdown just now, so our gardens and open spaces provide an essential “oasis” of fresh air, sunshine, a place to exercise, somewhere we can venture without putting ourselves in danger, and without breaking the law. Maintenance of these areas means we can still access them safely, and helps support peoples’ wellbeing.
Can we continue cutting grass at all?
Our staff are thankfully able to operate remotely for the most part, and don’t generally come into direct contact with others, which should (hopefully) permit us to continue with our work. Currently, government guidance is that staff in our sector should be able to continue going to work, where that work absolutely cannot be done at home, and where the risks can properly be controlled. From the gov.uk website: “The government is not saying only people doing “essential” work can go to work. Anyone who cannot work from home can still go to work.” However, this is only to happen where organisations are capable of controlling the risk properly.
How are we controlling the risks?
We’ve effected a number of changes this year, so that we can work safely:
- We have asked our customers (and other relevant people) that in accordance with government guidelines, that they must maintain a distance of at least 6ft / 2m from our staff (and equipment). This is for their own safety, and for that of others. If people need to discuss anything with us, they are welcome to either email or telephone. Alternatively, they can try to catch the attention of our staff onsite if need be, but they must remember to maintain a significant distance.
- We respectfully ask that people must NOT come to our workshop / offices in person, for the same reason.
- In order to observe the guidance re. maintaining a minimum of 2m away from others, our staff will mostly be lone-working (previously they were in teams of 2 or 3), and won’t be able to share equipment onsite, which means we’re buying additional vehicles and equipment. One happy exception to this is where we have three people who are in the same household, who will be able to work together out of one van.
- Our daily staff “morning meeting” will be done via video-conferencing instead.
- Surfaces in our vehicles, equipment, and premises, are cleaned with a bleach solution / soap / anti-bacterial wipes where cross-contamination might take place, on a regular & frequent schedule. The vehicles carry additional washing-down and sanitising supplies and equipment for this purpose.
- Extra precautions are taken when we visit public places such as fuel-pumps (such as wearing disposable gloves, and maintaining a safe distance from others).
- We’re hindering staff from entering our premises unless absolutely necessary. For example, equipment that needs repair will be dropped off outside our shed and sanitised, ready for our mechanic to retrieve following arrangement via phone call. Work is scheduled and logged via an “app” on our staffs’ handsets, to prevent the need to pick up and drop off paperwork from our premises.
- Where staff absolutely have to enter our premises, we’re keeping them as separate from one another as practicable. For example, our office manager is the only person allowed to enter and use the office space, our mechanics are the only people allowed in the vehicle workshop area. We observe social-distancing, and use masks and disposable gloves as appropriate. Where we need to communicate with each other, it is always by telephone call, text, Messenger, video-conferencing, etc. rather than meeting face-to-face.
- For the remainder of situations, we have asked our staff to follow all current guidance re. hindering spread of the virus, such as hand-washing, strict social distancing, etc., both at work, and outwith the workplace. We issue them with regular updates and “toolbox talks” on the subject.
- We will be making every effort to further reduce risk in other areas, to minimise the risk of accidents, the burden on the NHS, and the risk of our staff being cross-contaminated with Covid-19, or spreading Covid-19, in the event of a hospital visit.
Through these robust control measures, we currently hope and intend to continue with our work.
Stay apart, protect the NHS, save lives.