08 Dec Coping with Covid-19: Group Update
Given the enduring impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across the UK, we remain rigorous and consistent in our approach to both the management and development of our sites throughout the Group, in order to safeguard the wellbeing of our team and maintain continuity of service for our customers
With safety at the forefront of every planned decision made during the pandemic so far, there are some processes that have been in place since the very beginning. For instance, PPE is provided to all staff, including high-vis vests featuring social distancing messaging, disposable gloves, masks, visors and goggles. With some close proximity work unavoidable, Gray & Adams also offers staff air-fed hoods as a further precautionary safety measure.
From one way systems, to socially distanced working practices, controlled movement, multiple additional toilet and hand-washing facilities, temperature checks, hand sanitiser dispensers, alternative parking for staff and the closing of communal spaces (such as lockers and canteens), there was a lot done in the early stages of the pandemic, as Gray & Adams prepared to re-open in May.
Since then, the business has progressed with further stringent measures and continued positive success stories in managing the pandemic safely at each of its facilities. However, as each site is subject to different local lockdown rules, some solutions and practices have varied throughout the Group.
At Dunfermline, staff have been working a two-shift system from 6am to 2.30pm and from 3pm to 12am since April 2020 to ensure minimal staff are on site and within the facilities at any one time. There are also strict cleaning rotas in place with additional cleansing through the use of fogging machines to disinfect the facility after each shift.
With a marquee outside to create a socially distanced canteen, the team have implemented staggered breaks and have been doing regular surveys about staff perceptions of safety in their work environment, with feedback from the surveys remaining overwhelmingly positive.
Additionally, a major investment in ensuring the welfare of their team, is the purchase of a new site to complement our existing site in Dunfermline, 2.5 miles from the current location. After renovations, the Dunfermline team will be able to return to a one-shift system when work begins in this new space.
One of the leading lights in terms of implementing the processes and practices to get safely back to work in early May, the Ireland team has done equally well at managing and maintaining safe working measures. With outside meetings, one person per office rules, regular safety reviews from the management team, staggered breaks, verification logs and daily temperature checks as staff enter the facility.
At our Doncaster site, teams are also working shifts to ensure staff can maintain social distancing. It has its own track and trace system, like Fraserburgh, and implements regular staff training and refresher training on safe working processes, with stringent cleaning timetables and facility disinfection through fogging. The Doncaster team has also allocated ‘team bubbles’ to allow for safe and socially distant access to communal staff areas, such as the canteen, at staggered intervals.
The Fraserburgh team has installed over 40 hand wash basins throughout the site and have additionally installed a further 20 toilets in Fraserburgh to replace the temporary facilities which were in place when preparing to re-open in May. The team there have also been working a two-shift system, similar to Dunfermline and Doncaster, to minimise numbers of staff on site at any one time. An internal mail system was implemented to further minimise movement throughout the facilities and they have had a track and trace system in place for some time, which has been extended to additionally monitor delivery drivers who enter the premises.
Further to this, the team have installed 30 automatic temperature readers around the factory and office to replace the hand-held readers which were in use earlier this year. The stores team has instigated a pre-booking system to ensure kit is in place and ready for exactly when it is required. Though canteens are not all fully open, one of them is back in operation with a reduced number of seats for social distancing and a pre-booked carry out service is in operation, where staff can order hot food.
There is also an 22,500 sq. ft. new building currently in development at Fraserburgh, primarily to facilitate manufacture of Double Deck Trailers and to release facilities in the existing site. In addition, the team have worked hard to source British-built equipment for the new facility from UK businesses, to help support the economy during this challenging period. Overall, the Group has been measured and responsive in its operations at every site and the management team has been impressed with the dedication and agility of its staff in following the rules to the letter.
James & Peter Gray, Joint Managing Directors, said,
“As the current situation continues to evolve, our teams will continue to uphold our rigorous safety procedures and maintain the safety of our people. We would like to thank every member of our team for their commitment to following these new procedures and processes as we navigate this ongoing challenge. We are proud of the work we have done so far and encourage all of our staff to remain vigilant, agile and responsive to ensure that we can continue to build on the work done so far to keep our sites, and each other, safe.”