Due to unprecedented circumstances, many aspects of our day-to-day work must be adapted to comply with the government’s guidelines about how to minimise the spread of COVID-19. We will be implementing new measures to ensure the safety of both our clients and our staff. Due to the nature of our work, many of our staff work in close quarters with one another and in shared spaces such as offices or private homes. The following policy will outline practises that Clearance Solutions will be adopting to minimise spread and includes information such as how to identify COVID-19, strategies to reduce the spread and enhanced day to day practises which minimise chance of contact. It will also outline what to do should you feel you are expressing the symptoms of the virus and how to respond in the safest manner possible.
What is COVID-19:
COVID-19 is a rapidly spreading contagion that can result in intensive hospitalisation and death. It can be present within a carrier without being aware or even expressing any symptoms.
Although the probability of catching COVID-19 is similar among all people who face the same exposure, some demographics of people who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and have a higher susceptibility. People above the age of 50, or who have underlying medical conditions are at a much higher risk of experiencing more intense symptoms which can then result in necessary medical care and death in around 3.4% of cases.
What is the impact and how is it spread:
What makes COVID-19 a particularly infectious disease is the rate in which it spreads and can be transferred from person to person. Anyone who asserts any mild symptoms can transmit the coronavirus as simply as by sneezing or coughing, expelling fluids or infected particles which are carrying the virus either into the air which then come into contact with another person or onto a surface in which someone else becomes in contact with. This invisible network of spreading is what needs to be disrupted or reduced, in order to contain the contagion, and reducing contact and practising good hygiene are the best approaches of intervention.
How to Identify Symptoms:
The two leading symptoms for COVID-19 are an increased or high fever and a continuous and new cough, as outlined by the NHS. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should consider that they are infected and react accordingly. It is also very important to be aware of anyone else that you have been in contact who is displaying the symptoms.
We ask that all our staff assess themselves to see if they or the members of their household display any symptoms each day, before they leave for work.
What to do if you recognise any of the symptoms:
It is absolutely crucial that if you or someone you are in contact with identifies with any of the symptoms of COVID-19 that you begin to self-isolate immediately and remove yourself from any further contact or interaction with people of shared spaces.
You should continue to isolate for 14 days, even if your symptoms no longer persist, and remain away from work until the end of this period or until you have a negative test result. You must not come in contact with any work facilities or staff and report any contact to the operations manager.
Strategy to reduce contact and minimise spread:
It is important that all staff of Clearance Solutions be aware of the safe practises required in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as any business with a culture of interactions within the organisation and with customers can be at risk of contracting the disease.
Practises such as minimising contact with one another, keeping safe social distancing, appropriate handling and cleaning of shared spaces and company resources is important in all daily actions. Touchpoints are areas of exposure that come in frequent contact with staff or clients and are identified as common grounds for transfer of the disease. By reducing human interactions with touchpoints and practising safe hygiene and handling procedure, there is a decreased chance of the spread of the disease.
Zones of risk:
Certain areas or touch points have higher rates of human contact, and these areas can be separated into four ‘zones’ based on their frequency or degree of contact. Different zones of risk can be identified by how often clients, Clearance Solutions staff and operatives or any other people might come in contact with a particular touchpoint, and the resulting chance of contamination.
Areas of high contact, or facilities that are commonly used by many people can be identified as high risk and are called Red Zones. Red Zones carry a very high rate for the transmission of COVID-19.
Orange Zones are areas nearby, which although they have a lower chance of disease exposure, are still of concern safe handling practises are encouraged in order to minimise the exposure.
Yellow Zones are labelled as low risk due to the touchpoints either being used less frequently or cleaned often, and they should still be observed as being of risk. These zones are safe to operate if appropriate PPE is used.
Green zones are the areas in which risk and contact are very low, and therefore can be considered safe and of low risk. These areas can be used by all if safe social distancing is practised.
Identifying different zones of risk:
Red Zones, or high contact touchpoints are surfaces which should be avoided at all costs. These are common areas used by many people and are often not cleaned frequently or have a high-risk chance of transfer. These include kitchenettes and common areas such as receptions or breakout areas and particularly instruments, switches, shared disposable items and other interactive utensils within these areas.
Orange Zones are those surrounding the Red Zones and although they are frequently used, they are considered to be cleaner, or have less contact from other persons. Orange Zones do still have a relative risk of contamination and should be avoided unless necessary. These zones include contact points such as rubbish disposal bins, van controls such as the tail lift controls, radio and AC, steering wheel and hand break, keys and tools. Orange Zones also include personal computer set-ups in offices, printers and post rooms, shared stationary cupboards and cleaning facilities and all the loose items in these areas.
Yellow Zones are communal areas that although frequently used are cleaned regularly or have had preventative measures taken to reduce interaction. These Zones are also considered necessary for operation and cannot be avoided. Certain areas such as hallways, office areas, bathrooms and lifts.
Green Zones are any other low contact zones, such as large open outdoor spaces such as smoking areas where many people can be in the same area, yet contact can be avoided at all times.
Safe practise in zones of risk
Our team leaders will be the first people on site so that they will be able to identify all the zones and then will return to the team to brief them. They will clearly outline the Red Zones to be avoided and allocate different teams to certain Orange Zones and explain the safety operating procedure in regard to PPE in each area.
Contact will be reduced in Orange Zones by designating a one person only to man the position. This person must be instructed to reduce all unnecessary contact, minimise the time spent in or near the Orange Zones, and refrain from letting anyone else in contact with them. They will need to wash and sanitise their hands every 20 minutes, wear gloves always, and masks when necessary. No one else is to come within two meters of the operative/zone.
The team will be instructed to avoid any unnecessary contact with Yellow Zone touch points and keep clear from any areas if possible. Using PPE and protective measures such as padding lifts and surfaces will help to reduce the chance of contact. We encourage all of our staff to reduce congregation in Yellow Zones and refrain from being in groups of two or more at any time. This also applies to groupings during lunch or cigarette breaks.
Green Zones will be operated with minimal caution and assumed to be safe for all staff to use and occupy so long as they practise safe social distancing of two metres and do not bring any items of high risk into these areas. We encourage all staff to not share lighters, cigarettes, mugs, bags, food, utensils or anything that could cross contaminate, and bring their own to site each day.
PPE & Hygiene practise
All staff will be equipped with appropriate PPE including gloves, hand sanitiser, surface cleaning products and will always be instructed to wear disposable gloves and wash their hands every 20 minutes for 20 seconds or more. Latex gloves will be given to all staff who do not wish to wear the standard issue PPE gloves.
Vans will be stocked with additional supplies of all PPE and drivers will be asked to use surface cleaning products on all contact points within the cab and area around the tail lift several times throughout the day.
Team leaders will wipe down all materials and tools supplied by Clearance Solutions with disinfectant spray or wipes, and will clean them before being exchanged between operatives. These will be cleaned daily at our company facilities.
Consumable tissue such as handtowels and wipes must also be securely disposed of so that they do not come in contact with anyone else and will be put into sanitary bins provided.
An essential part of our business is communication with clients. This will mostly be handled through online correspondence or phone calls. If any of our clients are not comfortable with being in the same building as our operatives or surveyors at the time that they are working then we will happily order our teams based upon a predetermined series of instructions and client interaction will not be necessary.
If you would prefer that our surveyors attend site wearing full PPE such as masks and gloves, then we will be happy to do so. Otherwise, all surveyors will always reduce all contact and practise social distancing.
This is the current policy of Clearance Solutions which is strictly enforced throughout our staff. Any of our operatives who do not comply with the guidelines or do not feel comfortable are asked to remain away from ours and our client’s facilities until government guidelines are adjusted.
This policy is subject to change depending on the alteration of government policy, and Clearance Solutions Ltd will do what it takes to enforce any of the government orders to help combat COVID-19. Clearance Solutions would not put any of our clients or staff in a position in which we feel that they may be endangered and will cease all operations if we notice at any point that our safety policy is not certain. If you have any questions regarding any of the above information then please feel free to contact [email protected]