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 utility 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 unless specially approved to share with controls in place. All of 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.

Latest Review – 19/11/20 – No changes at this time

In light of the announcement of New National Restrictions from 5 November, it is important we all follow these simple rules:

  • Stay At Home other than;
    • for childcare or education, where this is not provided online
    • for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home
    • to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place – with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household
    • for any medical concerns, reasons, appointments and emergencies, or to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm – such as domestic abuse
    • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible
  • maintain 2m social distancing
  • wash your hands regularly
  • self isolate if you or someone you live with develops a cough or fever or a loss or changed sense of normal smell or taste
  • avoid non-essential travel

Q&A

Can I go to work?  Yes, if your work is outdoors and you can follow social distancing (2 metres) and maintain good hygiene. Field team owners must ensure the workplace is COVID Secure – for guidance see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Colleagues must travel to and from work and between sites in separate vehicles unless this cannot be avoided and they have a permit to vehicle share.  In addition, each job undertaken must be individually assessed to ensure all operatives can work safely maintaining a 2m distance.

I am or live with a vulnerable person, can I go to work? If you or anyone in your team is in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable category (e.g. if you have received a letter from the NHS or are in any of these categories) you should let the People Team know by calling 01277 315400. People in this category should continue working only where they can do so from home.

What happens if I get ill? If you are sick, you should stay at home until you are well. You should let us know by calling 01277 315310.

When must I self-isolate? Self-isolate immediately if:

You should let us know by calling 01277 315310. You can find the government guidance for households who need to isolate here.

Do people I have been in contact with need to self-isolate? You may want to tell people you’ve been in close contact with in the past 48 hours that you might have coronavirus. Examples of close contact include:

  • close face to face contact (under 1 metre) for any length of time
  • being within 1 to 2 metres of each other for more than 15 minutes – including travelling in a vehicle or eating in a restaurant together
  • someone who has spent a lot of time in your home, e.g. family, friends or a cleaner

These contacts do not have to self-isolate until you test positive and they are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app but that may take a few days, and they should be more careful and avoid close contact with anyone outside of their households as much as possible in the meantime. People who you have been in contact with but remained socially distanced from do not need to take any additional precautions.

When can I come out of self-isolation? You can end self-isolation when:

  • You have had symptoms and have been self-isolating for at least 10 days, and have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
  • You have been self-isolating for 14 days and have not developed symptoms.
  • You and anyone you live with who has had symptoms has been tested and received a negative result.

Can I get tested for Coronavirus? Yes, anyone can now be tested if they have symptoms.

Request via the NHS COvid-19 app or online here: https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/test-type. Do not visit a test centre until you have a confirmed booking.

Do I have to isolate if someone in my household has been asked to isolate (i.e. because they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive)? No, however you should be considerate of the risk and self-isolate immediately if they develop any symptoms.

Can I still work if I am showing symptoms or have tested positive? Yes if you are able to work at home and are well enough to do so, but you must self-isolate as described above.

Advice for Office Based GC Employees

  • All office based employees should work from home, offices will be closed other than to critical IT staff.

Advice for Field Based GC Employees & Teams

  • Covid Standard Operating Procedure and Risk Assessments are on The Pulse and iAuditor and here: HSQE COVID Docs (SOP / RA)
  • Use of the NHS Covid-19 app is mandatory for anyone working in cohorts or vehicle sharing.
  • Where possible everyone should travel alone in a vehicle. Where this is not reasonably practicable, a maximum of two people can share a vehicle where a COVID-19 Permit to Vehicle Share must be in place.
  • Stick to the same work cohorts every day, you should be working with the same people. This reduces the number of people potentially required to self-isolate if someone within the cohort tests positive.
  • Employ social distancing – remain at least 2 metres from people you do not live with.
  • Carry all food and drink with you, avoid popping into shops daily for lunch and drinks.
  • Please carry and use antibacterial gel where regular hand washing is not an option.
  • You must wear a face-covering whenever you are inside an enclosed public space, e.g. when in welfare units, signing in and out of stores, using bathrooms.

We have implemented a Permit to vehicle share process throughout the organisation. You must apply prior to vehicle sharing. Apply here.

  • Each vehicle must have the same, non-rotating cohort.
  • You must work to all safety guidance that will be sent to you once you apply via our HSQE team.
  • You must all wear face coverings at all times within the vehicle.
  • You must notify us if anyone is clinically extremely vulnerable or lives with someone who is.

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
  • you must be wearing a face mask
  • 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

You can find more advice on staying safe outside your home on the government website here.

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.

Declaration – COVID-19 Secure

Below are several other websites which contain information related to COVID-19:

NHS (UK): Health advice on Coronavirus

Government advice on Coronavirus, including;

Government Guidance on New National Restrictions 

Staying at home if you think you have coronavirus (Self-isolating)

How to protect extremely vulnerable people

BBC Advice on protecting your mental health

World Health Organization (WHO) advice on Coronavirus

HSE Guidance on working during Coronavirus

We continue to deliver services to our customers during this time, we are working with our clients to ensure that client specific controls are adhered to. Ground Control have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that controls are in place across all operations.  We have implemented a full suite of safety guidance that has been cascaded to all employees.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding any guidance please contact: safetyteam@ground-control.co.uk.

Questions should be directed to:

·    Contact ·    Contact Details
·    HSQE ·    Angelina Sooren – angelina.sooren@ground-control.co.uk – 07961 047790
·    HR ·    Tanya Meah – tanya.meah@ground-control.co.uk – 07850 723470
·    ICT ·    Sim Hassall – sim.hassall@ground-control.co.uk – 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 the 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.

Customer FAQ

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?  We have had a very low number of confirmed cases which have all been quickly isolated.

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 Covid symptoms is able to self-isolate at 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.

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.

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