In short no. Business for many of us continues to be quite different and an anxious, challenging and worrying time for many. I am however truly humbled by those individuals and businesses that have improvised, adapted and ultimately contributed to our overcoming this pandemic.
In the past week I’ve seen our customers and their staff teams:
• Volunteer to help out with community projects whilst furloughed
• Donate personal protective equipment to those needing it most
• Offer support, help and guidance to others, often free of charge
• Adapt their business models buy adding in deliveries, changing their product offering, moving more on line or dare I say ‘introducing zoom’
With regard to ourselves and the Acorn team, we too have continued to adapt, respond to the immediate needs of our customers and are beginning to plan for the weeks ahead and support our customer’s who are doing the same:
• I delivered a free ‘zoom’ session on family first aid and a DSE workout was kindly delivered by Jon at SG23 Fitness
• I met with TTMPS, a mobile phone retailer and supported then review risk assessments and new methods of working as restrictions are lifted
• Sarah has delivered life streamed first aid training for students at the University of Bristol
• We have delivered a number of live streamed sessions and achieved great levels on interaction with those who participated
• Brian has visited a packaging manufacturer to review their current practices and social distancing in a production environment
• We’ve delivered basic life support training for essential care staff in a hospice and paediatric first aid for a group of teachers in schools working with vulnerable and keyworkers children
• We’ve provided advice to a number of our trades business who staff teams are undertaking essential works and maintenance, sometimes in COVID+ environments
• Trudi, facilitates all of the above and is continuing to work hard form her home office
Please continue to take care of yourselves and your families, stay safe and wherever possible stay at home.
Please accept my apologies if you’ve not received much in the way of communication from us in the past few weeks. It became apparent last week we had a significant e-mail issue and hadn’t been able to send messages from our main e-mail address since the 6th April. If we haven’t responded to any messages you’ve sent please do get in touch as we may not have initially received them.
News in Brief:
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive), the TUC and the CBI have issued a joint statement intending to clarify the position. The bottom line is that the health and safety of workers remains paramount.
Employers must continue to provide workers with information about risks to their health and the actions their employers must take including social distancing. If it comes to the HSE’s attention that employers are not complying with the relevant Public Health England guidance (including enabling social distancing where it is practical to do so), HSE will consider a range of actions ranging from providing specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices, including prohibition notices.You can read their full statement HERE
Here is a selection from the last few weeks of the new advice/changes that have been made:
- If you are a key worker who is self-isolating (not able to leave home), you can now apply for you and your household to get priority tested for coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Customers can also find out what financial support is available from the Government. Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants. The link leads to a questionnaire that you fill in and it advises which support schemes may be useful.
- Advice on social distancing: Specific to distribution centres and other sites on maintaining social distancing for drivers and also general workers
- Advice to the Food industry relayed in an open letter
- Advice on Fit testing face masks to avoid transmission during the coronavirus outbreak
- Research into PPE in healthcare settings
- Guidance on protecting Home Workers
- Changes to the rules of Drivers hours
- Guidance on reporting RIDDOR during COVID-19
The NHS have also provided guidance for parents on when to contact emergency services if concerned about the health of their child.
Based on some of these changes, we are still carrying out some essential Company Audits (i.e to carry out COVID-19 audits) and investigating accidents and will continue to provide essential face to face training where required. Our Admin Team, Consultants and Directors are still home working.
First Aid at Work and Paediatric First Aid Training
The HSE made the decision to extend some Emergency First Aid at Work and First Aid at Work expiry by 3 months. If you hold a first aid certificate that expires on or after 16 March 2020 and cannot access requalification training because of coronavirus you may qualify for a 3-month extension. Click HERE to read further information regarding this.
How can we Help You?
We are currently working equally with those businesses that are quiet and in many cases have furloughed their staff, those still working and those beginning to plan and consider health, safety and welfare needs in the future. Some things to consider:
- If you are quiet currently, now is a great time to invest in staff training, update policies and procedures, complete SSIP accreditations and similar so that you can focus on business in the future.
- If you are continuing to work, we can assist with COVID-19 Audits (see article below), advice on social distancing, updating risk assessments, developing safe systems of work, PPE and face fit testing
- If you are planning for the future we can help support to ensure your staff, business and customers are safe, legally compliant and reassured when we begin to return to work