Ground Control Coronavirus Response and Guidance
Ground Control follows all Government advice as we continue to deliver support services to our customers including electricity, gas, water and data utilities providers, food retailers, government bodies and care services. This includes always maintaining 2m distance at all times, including when travelling, and following enhanced hygiene advice. This means our Field Teams must travel to and from work and to sites in separate vehicles. If they cannot do this, they are not authorised to work. All our office based staff work from home where this is possible. All staff who are in vulnerable groups or live with vulnerable groups are being protected.
Key Updates 1st April 2020
- Update to Advice for Field Based GC Employees & Teams
Key Updates 30th March 2020
- Update to Safety Bulletin
- Update to Safety Pack
Key Updates 27th March 2020
- Updates to links
- Updates to client Q&A
Following the Prime Minister’s address on Monday 23rd March, it is important we all follow these simple rules:
STAY AT HOME except for these reasons:
To work but only if you cannot work from home (this means only Field Teams and field based staff)
To shop for basic necessities
To exercise once per day
To access medical care
Can I go to work? YES, if outdoor and following social distancing (2 metres) and good hygiene.
Therefore this means you must travel to and from work and to sites in separate vehicles. This may require obtaining business insurance on private vehicles or hiring additional vehicles. In addition , each job undertaken must be individually assessed to ensure all operatives can work safely maintaining a 2m distance.
I am a Field Team working Indoors, can I go to work? NO
Can I visit or go to work in the office? NO
I live am or live with a vulnerable person, can I go to work? NO unless working from home. If you cannot work from home, call HR on 01277 315310.
Lives really do depend on this. Any questions, please contact your manager immediately.
As a business, we are continuing to monitor the outbreak of Coronavirus and are proceeding according to the recommendations of governmental health agencies to ensure we are taking the appropriate precautions to protect our people and customers.
Safety Packs have been issued by the HSQE team for each division, please do not start work without this. Contact 01277 315358 before starting work if you do not have this.
Avoiding spreading viruses is the most important thing we can do:
- wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Stay at home if you are sick
You are not authorised to leave home to work if you or anyone you live with
- is unwell
- showing symptoms
- or if you look after people in vulnerable groups (the elderly and people with underlying health conditions).
This includes coughs, colds, fever etc. – even if you don’t have Coronavirus, you are more likely to catch and spread it when you are unwell.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call the NHS number 111 if symptoms become serious.
Please speak to your line manager on next steps, and also please let HR know by calling 01277 315310. You will be paid if you are unable to work due to sickness or because you need to isolate if you are unable to work, however we would expect employees who are able to work, to work from home.
Field teams will be able to reclaim the cost of SSP for any employees unable to work from the government as announced in the new Budget.
As well as the above, we ask everyone to follow all government advice, which also included;
- Anyone who has or lives with someone who has a cough or a high temperature should isolate for 14 days
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Only use the NHS when you really need to
- You must not work other than at home if you are over 70 or in an especially vulnerable group.
Advice for All Employees
- No internal meetings. Use 8×8 as an alternative for conference and video calling
- Encourage clients to use our conferencing system to avoid external meetings
- Do not use public transport or fly
- 121 meetings can happen only when critical and only where everyone is well and sufficient distancing (2m) is maintained
- Follow advice on good hand hygiene and social distancing (2m separation between people)
- If you are unwell or anyone you live with is unwell or isolating, but you are able to work, please work at home in consultation with your line manager.
Advice for Office Based GC Employees
- All office based employees should work from home from now on
- Use the group chat function in 8×8 to stay in contact with your team
Advice for Field Based GC Employees & Teams
- You have a reduced risk when working outside separately from the public
- Employ social distancing – remain at least 2 metres from people you do not live with wherever practicable
- You may want to consider how you structure your day so you avoid busy periods and locations, and so you can eat and use facilities at home
- Carry all food and drink with you, avoid popping into shops daily for lunch and drinks
- Wear gloves as much as possible, change them or wash them regularly and never touch your face when wearing them
- Please carry and use antibacterial gel where regular hand washing is not an option
- Field-based staff should not visit GC offices
We are currently speaking to all clients who have sign in processes, to seek agreement to minimise as far as possible processes requiring contact with staff at sites, and will update to you on any changes agreed. You should continue to sign in and out of sites unless advised otherwise, however please keep yourselves safe when doing so:
- only one person on each team should go into a site office / store
- avoid waiting if it’s busy, go away and come back later
- please carry your own pen rather than using the one on site
- ask our customer for their name and sign on their behalf, do not handover your device
Advice for vehicles
- Regularly sanitise all contact points in the vehicle, including keys, door handles (inside and out), window controls, seat adjusters, steering wheel and steering wheel height adjuster, parking brake, gear lever, indicator and wiper stalks and light controls
- Maintain the same driver in the same vehicle each day if you have more than one
- Avoid direct contact with fuel pumps and/or air pressure pumps at the petrol station. Wherever possible use the disposable gloves which are commonly available. Use contactless payment methods.
- Keep tissues in the car and a bin bag to dispose of any rubbish once or twice a day
- If anyone else has been in your vehicle, e.g. if it has been into the garage, make sure you thoroughly disinfect
Managers – please ensure all cases of illness for staff or field teams are reported to HR as quickly as possible including details of what is wrong, what steps the individual has taken and whether they are continuing to work from home. Please also let HR know if any employees are returning from abroad. Please call Amanda Manning on 01277 315310.
Below are several other websites which contain information related to COVID-19:
- NHS (UK): Health advice on Coronavirus
- Government advice on Coronavirus, including;
- BBC Advice on protecting your mental health
- World Health Organization (WHO) advice on Coronavirus
Questions should be directed to:
|· Contact||· Contact Details|
|· HSQE||· Angelina Sooren – email@example.com – 07961 047790|
|· HR||· Tanya Meah – firstname.lastname@example.org – 07850 723470|
|· ICT||· Sim Hassall – email@example.com – 07782 209993|
Ground Control Response to Coronavirus
Ground Control has no immediate concerns over our ability to deliver services to their usual standard whilst following all government guidance, and where we cannot do so safely we will discuss with customers alternatives to ensure that any impact is reduced. Ground Control is a naturally resilient company as the vast majority of our work is done remotely and does not require coming into a central yard or office, thus naturally reducing exposure risks. Ground Control has conducted extensive resilience testing across every department and are perfectly positioned to meet any challenge the Coronavirus or indeed any other significant challenges that may occur in the future, e.g. fire, flood or terrorism.
Well-resourced business continuity plans are in place, and the following actions have been undertaken:
- All works are risk assessed to ensure they can be completed whilst maintaining 2m distancing between operatives. Where this cannot be achieved, works will not go ahead.
- Regular communication by email and text message with all employees to update on latest advice.
- Ground Control has a robust IT infrastructure and employees can access business systems and communications platforms remotely.
- Implementing enhanced preventive hygiene controls, including increased cleaning and provision of sanitisers etc.
Have your systems and processes been tested? Good news, our systems and processes have undergone extensive resilience testing and we are superbly positioned to cope with any eventuality resulting from the threat of Coronavirus. Ground Control has made extensive investments into our systems and is ahead of the curve in terms of preparedness. All of our office based staff have home working capability, and in an effort to support the UK in minimising the spread of the virus, Ground Control has proactively moved to home working for all office based staff with zero negative impact to our customers experience. Ground Control’s Senior Management response team has been meeting daily since 3rd March to review processes and data from our operations, clients and systems as well as the latest UK Government guidance to ensure that we continue to stay ahead of this moving situation.
Does Ground Control have any confirmed cases of Coronavirus? At this point it is difficult to tell as the NHS advice is now not to test except in very serious cases, however we have no confirmed cases and are confident potential cases have been identified quickly and those affected are isolating at home.
What is your process around handling anyone that does have a confirmed case of Coronavirus? We continue to adhere to and monitor the UK Government guidelines around managing any confirmed or suspected cases of Coronavirus. We are ensuring anyone working with Ground Control with any cold or flu like symptoms is able to self-isolate at home.
Do you have employees that have gone to countries that are at high risk? Our focus and resource are deployed on limiting human to human contact, which is why we have restricted non-essential travel, banned the use of public transport and mobilised working from home.
Is your supply chain robust enough to manage any issues that may arise? Is everything sourced from the UK? Yes, we have reviewed our supply chain and we are confident that we have provisions in place to mitigate any foreseeable challenges. We have a number of staff isolating at home, however this is having no significant impact on delivery at present. We will of course continue to monitor this and will take proactive steps to ensure that we stay well placed and well equipped to support our clients.
What will you do if the country goes into lock down? We will of course follow any restrictions as set out by the UK Government. We anticipate this to have minimal impact on our field team operations and thus minimal, if any, negative interruptions in supporting our customers, given the proactive steps we have already taken.
How are your field team operatives being supported and kept safe? We are working with our clients to limit human to human contact where possible for our field based employees. We have supplied our field teams with the very latest guidance on how best to manage the threat of the Coronavirus and we continue to communicate with them as we navigate through this moving situation.