The health of our workforce remains our utmost priority, so we wanted to share the extra steps we’re taking and new Site Operating Procedures we’re putting in place to keep our people safe and minimise the risk of the spread of infection, based on the latest guidance from Public Health England.
Construction work will be carried out a slower pace than usual so we can make sure the new procedures are kept to. We are very grateful to our customers for bearing with us at such an uncertain, unsettled time, and we want to help them move into their new homes as quickly – and safely – as we can. First priority will be given to completing the homes of customers who have exchanged, then to those who have reserved.
Anyone displaying COVID-19 symptoms, living in a household with someone displaying symptoms or isolating due to illness or that of someone in their household will not be permitted to work until they are fully recovered and/or the recommended period of isolation has been observed. Employees are in close contact with their managers and supervisors to ensure that everyone’s health is monitored closely.
Working on site
We work as a team, and every team member will be encouraged to both take responsibility for their actions and collaborate with their colleagues to maintain social distancing and ensure these new Site Operating Procedures are observed. Once on site, employees must remain there until their shift has finished. Work will be carried out outside as much as possible, but when carried out inside it will be carefully planned to avoid crowding and minimise the risk of infection, and ventilation will be increased if possible. Tasks will be arranged so they can be carried out by one person where possible, or by more than one observing social distancing (2m). When it’s not possible to maintain social distancing, the time and frequency team members are in closer contact with one another will be minimised, as will the number of workers carrying out the task, and workers will avoid working face to face. Each activity will be risk assessed and the relevant PPE (personal protective equipment) provided. As a rule of thumb, if an activity cannot be carried out safely, it will not take place. The number of people in any crucial meetings will be reduced and the meetings conducted outside wherever possible. We have also redeployed a member of Head Office staff to act as a roving Health & Safety Champion, visiting each site daily to support our Construction and Site Managers.
Good hand hygiene is essential in the fight against COVID-19. Workers are expected to wash their hands thoroughly, for 20 seconds and using soap and water, at regular intervals, including upon arrival to site, before entering and after exiting any plant or machinery, before and after using any equipment, before and after breaks, and before leaving site. Hand washing facilities are available and cleaned regularly, and hand sanitiser (minimum 60% alcohol) is also being provided.
A dedicated Welfare Operative at each site will be responsible for cleaning and hygiene and helping to ensure the new Site Operating Procedures are adhered to. Regular cleaning of shared vehicles, plant, machinery and equipment, common contact surfaces on site and in offices, including IT, office and phone equipment, canteen appliances, facilities and furniture and door handles and push plates will be carried out. Toilet facilities will be cleaned on an hourly basis, including door handles, locks and toilet flushes. Waste bins will also be emptied regularly.
Canteen and breaks
Employees have been asked to bring their own eating and drinking utensils to minimise the risk of contamination, and to bring food and drink to site from home rather than visiting local shops, to minimise risk to themselves as well as the community. Breaks will be staggered and taken outside wherever possible to reduce congestion and contact in canteen areas.
Transport, plant and equipment
Employees will be encouraged to travel to site alone, using their own transport. If there is no option but to share transport, journeys will be taken with the minimal number of sharers and same group of people sharing, facing away from one another where possible, and ideally with windows open to improve ventilation. The same rules apply when using plant, machinery and equipment.
Visitors and deliveries
Deliveries will only be received if it is safe to do so, and drivers will be requested to stay in their vehicles wherever possible. If drivers must exit their vehicles, they will be asked to wash or sanitise their hands before handling any materials. Non-essential visitors to site will not be permitted.
Our Sales Offices and Show Homes will reopen on Saturday 16th May on an appointment-only basis.
When making an appointment, visitors will be asked if they or anyone in their family group has or has had COVID-19, is currently experiencing any symptoms, is shielding or at risk. We will also ask about your home requirements so we have a clear idea of what you are looking for and can provide any helpful information in advance, so that you get the most out of your visit.
Home tours and site visits will be conducted with the following precautions in place:
Only one visitor/couple/family group permitted at any one time
Any unannounced visitors will be asked to wait until the previous visitors have left
Social distancing (2m) will be maintained
Unaccompanied viewings (i.e. in which the Sales Advisor waits outside) available on request
Safety screens to be installed in the Sales Offices between customers and Sales Advisors, so meetings can be conducted safely*
Details of all visitors taken to enable contact tracing to take place if needed; and visitors to asked to inform us if they or anyone in their family group subsequently develop symptoms
Hand washing facilities, paper towels and hand sanitiser available, and visitors to wash or sanitise their hands upon arrival
Visitors’ temperatures measured upon arrival (Sales Advisors will be provided with face masks for this), and the appointment of anyone exhibiting a high temperature rescheduled
Cleaning of touch points carried out after each visit, plus additional daily and weekly cleans
All internal doors left open to minimise contact
*The screens are currently on order from our supplier; until they arrive and can be installed, meetings will either be conducted outside or in the more open areas of the Show Homes.
Click here for details on booking an appointment at any of our developments.