“Safety-first” has been a critical aspect of the mindset of the UK’s energy industry for decades. So it is instructive how this concern is becoming mainstream for all sectors as businesses emerge from the easing of restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Workplaces across the UK, from pubs to hairdressers, warehouses and laboratories, are figuring out what business looks like while Covid-19 infection decreases but still lingers.The businesses that have continued to operate through the lockdown due to their necessity to the nation can show the way.
At Texo Group, our fabrication facilities in Dundee and Blyth have continued to operate in order to deliver work on critical national infrastructure. In order to ensure the safety of our personnel and their families, we put in place some of the most stringent hygiene, distancing and testing protocols in the UK. I’m delighted to say these have proved effective. Our efforts not only ensured the guys on the park have stayed healthy but a flagship tidal energy project is on track for deployment at the start of next year.
These insights have been brought to bear as we prepare to open
up the business to more normal working practices. Like many we have been putting some significant effort into preparing our offices across the UK for a return to work.
While we expect that home working will continue to be part of day-to-day operations for the foreseeable future, there will still be a need for some on-site work, particularly for those staff involved in delivering essential services.
We are confident the measures we have put in place will ensure safety and give staff peace of mind. These include a clear-desk policy to enable increased decontamination and sanitation, staggered arrivals and departures, plus of course all the markings, signage for guidance on distancing, canteen protocols, and of course, bulk quantities of PPE supplies and hand sanitiser.
Working in the safety-critical energy and construction sectors, we are familiar with how to undertake risk assessments and the strict implementation of health and safety policies.
As the sun starts shining and the UK generally returns to work, the majority of people will be looking for how to remain safe in the “new normal”.
The implementation of guidance on how to operate safely presents challenges to industries of all sectors. There will also be some excellent exemplars where effective implementation of health and safety policies to prevent transmission of the virus will ensure we all remain healthy as well as get back to work.