30th March 2020: 8am
COMPANY RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS - SUPPORTING CRITICAL UK INFASTRUCTURE
The Company has continuously reviewed its operations since the start of the current crisis but even more closely after the Government’s announcement of “stay at home” restrictions on 23rd March. This was followed later that evening with further specific advice for the Construction Industry with a statement that “if you are working on site, you are to continue to do so”.
This has been met with a mixed response from Construction companies, our supply chain and members of public. Notwithstanding, Lewis Civil Engineering operate primarily in the Water and Waste Water sector, including still dealing with the aftermath of Storm Dennis.
Critical UK Infrastructure has been defined in brief as “necessary for the country to function and upon which daily life depends”. Essential workers are therefore necessary for the continuation of this public service and to these ends all our Water Company clients have confirmed Lewis Civil Engineering are essential to meeting their statutory duties. They have also issued permits to our business and authority for which sites are to continue. It’s also essential we have access to public places without hindrance.
Our staff have been fully briefed to follow Public Health England guidelines including where possible, maintaining a 2 meter distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or by using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available) whenever practical and possible. We appreciate the pressure that all essential workers are facing and decisions of a personal choice are being respected by the business.
Added: 27/03/2020 - 12:15
Subject: : Business Interruption instructions from Friday 27th March 18;00- Please read carefully
We refer to the Business Continuity Statement issued 01:00 24th March. We take this opportunity to thank you for your work since that time responding to the changes requested, managing the loss of people owing to self-isolations, managing client requests in maintaining their essential services and trying to assimilate the flow of information from many sources.
It’s vital we continue to do this. To assist us all, the directors have agreed the immediate instruction and action for a full operational stand down for 48 hours from Friday 27th March 18;00, with the following exceptions;
- Work at Home – operational managers are required to review and challenge tasks with regard to an essential nature. Department Heads, staff with changed working locations continue to ensure their function is as robust as possible.
- Operations – the only yard and site work exempt from the above is undertaking immediate service threatening interruptions to water and wastewater services. This must be agreed with your Operations Director today or before commencement.
- All employees continue to follow the UK Government “stay at home guidance” issued 24th March but also do not travel to work. In the interests of brevity / information relevant to LCE employees we have included a redacted version of the guidance on our own website “coronavirus” blog , see below
Please communicate immediately across all remaining working sites
Best Regards Dave
Added: 27/03/2020 - 10:00
NEW RULES ON STAYING AT HOME AND AWAY FROM OTHERS
Redacted (follow link for full text)
The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the Government has introduced three new measures.
1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
2. Closing certain business and venues.
3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public. Every person in the UK must comply with these new measures, which came into effect on Monday 23 March.
1. STAYING AT HOME You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:
• shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
• one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
• any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
• travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home. These reasons are exceptions - even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household. These measures must be followed by everyone.
Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded. Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.
The Government has also identified a number of critical workers whose children can still go to school or their childcare provider. This critical worker definition does not affect whether or not you can travel to work - if you are not a critical worker, you may still travel to work provided you cannot work from home.
2. CLOSING CERTAIN BUSINESSES AND VENUES To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. More detailed information and exemptions can be found in the full text
3. STOPPING PUBLIC GATHERINGS To make sure people are staying at home and apart from each other, the Government is also stopping all public gatherings of more than two people. There are only exceptions to this rule for very limited purposes:
• where the gathering is of a group of people who live together - this means that a parent can, for example, take their children to the shops if there is no option to leave them at home.
• where the gathering is essential for work purposes, or to fulfil legal obligations - but workers should try to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.
4. GOING TO WORK As set out in the section on staying at home, you can travel for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.
With the exception of the organisations covered above in the section on closing certain businesses and venues, the Government has not required any other businesses to close – indeed it is important for business to carry on.
Sometimes this will not be possible, as not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to, from and for their work – for instance if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services. If you cannot work from home then you can still travel for work purposes, provided you are not showing coronavirus symptoms and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating.
Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).this is important for everyone’s safety.
5. DELIVERING THESE NEW MEASURES These measures will reduce our day to day contact with other people. They are a vital part of our efforts to reduce the rate of transmission of coronavirus. Every citizen is instructed to comply with these new measures.
Added: 25/03/2020 - 21:00
WHAT DO UK GOV DEFINE AS EXTREMELY VULNERABLE?
People falling into this extremely vulnerable group include:
1. Solid organ transplant recipients.
2. People with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
6. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
Shielding is for your personal protection. It is your choice to decide whether to follow the measures we advise. Individuals who have been given a prognosis of less than 6 months to live, and some others in special circumstances, could decide not to undertake shielding. This will be a deeply personal decision. We advise calling your GP or specialist to discuss this.
The NHS in England is directly contacting people with these conditions to provide further advice.
If you think you fall into one of the categories of extremely vulnerable people listed above and you have not received a letter by Sunday 29 March 2020 or been contacted by your GP, you should discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician.
We understand this is an anxious time and people considered extremely vulnerable will understandably have questions and concerns. Plans are being readied to make sure you can rely on a wide range of help and support.
Added: 22/03/2020 - 14:35
We are asking employees to supply information on whether they or any household members fall within the categories below. If you have not done so please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.
This group includes those who are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
Note: there are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this category, next week the NHS in England will directly contact you with advice about the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full.