"We save lives
and
protect buildings"
Home / About Us /  Pandemic policy
Lightning Fire Logo

Pandemic Planning Health and Safety Policy

Lightning Fire Safety Systems Ltd as a business and its’ staff have all been classified as key workers by the Home Office in a statement at 12.00 on Monday, March 23rd 2020.

James Brokenshire, Minister of State for Security confirmed “Security and fire safety personnel can play a vital role at this time of national challenge. People working in these sectors who are essential to national infrastructure are ‘Key Workers’ for the purposes of the Government’s guidance on Covid-19”.

Later on, this additional statement was made by Mr Brokenshire; “Key Worker status has been extended to all fire safety personnel actively working to improve public fire safety”.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 imposes a statutory duty on employers to ensure, insofar as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees whilst at work. This duty also extends to others who may be affected by the activities of Lightning Fire Safety Systems Ltd (LFSSL).

Aims and Commitments

LFSSL will:

lf icon

Provide a safe and healthy working environment and will not compromise the health and safety of any individual whilst having direct control of Pandemic circumstances.

lf icon

Provide the necessary training, advice and resources to all its staff to allow for the safe performance of day to day operations whilst operating in a Pandemic Scenario

lf icon

Comply, as far as reasonably practicable, with relevant health and safety legislation and Government body advices regarding Pandemics

lf icon

Integrity – acting ethically ensuring compliance, professionalism and transparency

lf icon

Responsibility – we all own problems, accept accountability and provide solutions

Pandemic Planning (including COVID-19 / Coronavirus) 

Introduction:

Viral Pandemics, including COVID-19 and other strains of Influenza, arehighly infectious viral illnessesthat have the capacity to spread very rapidly. A pandemic occurs when a new viral infection strain emerges and spreads, because people have no natural resistance to it.  The scale, severity and impact of a viral pandemic are difficult to predict. What is known is that pandemics affect entire countries with up to 50% of the population developing the illness. Past pandemics have spread globally in two, and sometimes three, waves over a period of months.

Any viral pandemic, as confirmed by the World Health Organization, has the potential to seriously affect LFSSLs operations, its employees and their families.  With such a high percentage of the population potentially affected, absenteeism could disrupt public transportation systems, utility services, health provision and services, communications and services provided by our suppliers.  It is also anticipated that schools would be closed to prevent the spread of infection.

A viral pandemic may therefore affect our staffing in four principal ways:

lf icon

Staff may themselves become infected, which is likely to lead to an unprecedented level of sickness absence

lf icon

Staff may have fears of being infected whilst at work and of passing on infection to their families and friends

lf icon

Stress levels will be higher than normal because of pressures on staffing

lf icon

Staff with caring responsibilities may be adversely affected by local measures, such as closure of schools. As a result, staff may have to stay at home to care for dependent children. In other cases, staff may be caring for partners and other dependants, such as older relatives

Viral Pandemics have the potential to affect all businesses and employers in a region, including those providing essential services on which this business relies.

LFSSL will use the World Health Organization pandemic alert phases to trigger organisational actions once evidence emerges of increased human-to-human transmission.

Our focus will be on:-

lf icon

Stress levels will be higher than normal because of pressures on staffing

lf icon

Producing action plans when needed that are specific to each of the organisation’s locations

lf icon

Maintaining health and hygiene measures and standards

Planning for a Pandemic: 

When it starts to become obvious that local facilities and services are not functioning satisfactorily, decisions will be made at Company level to enable a corporate response.   

The planned response will be to:

lf icon

Maintain awareness of global developments and advices given

lf icon

Undertake awareness training/give advice across the organisation

lf icon

Brief senior management on control measures

lf icon

Ensure external stakeholders are involved/made aware, e.g. suppliers, insurers, customers

lf icon

Maximise the use of video conferencing where available

lf icon

Review all overseas travel to infected areas and countries

Pandemic Response:

The company will seek to reduce the overall and specific risks to staff by taking appropriate infection control actions. 

LFSSL will distribute information regarding monitoring transmission interventions, infection control, communications, identifying vulnerable workers, and business and personal travel.

Pandemic Recovery

Unlike other disaster contingency planning, recovery interventions in the case of a pandemic, need to take into account the likelihood of follow-on waves which may place the organisation in a critical response phase for many weeks, possibly months. 

Because of the ever-changing conditions that apply to a Pandemic scenario, company guidelines and safe working procedures will be constantly reviewed to allow for flexibility and adaptability.

Guidelines and Safe Working Procedures in response to a Pandemic

Transmission Interventions – Infection Control:

LFSSL will seek to reduce the overall risks to staff by taking appropriate infection control actions. It is absolutely essential that the following control measures are instigated at the earliest opportunity. Basic health protection advice will be issued to all staff.

lf icon

Avoid close contact at work and outside (face-to-face/large gatherings)

lf icon

Stay at home when sick

lf icon

Cover mouth and nose when sneezing / coughing

lf icon

Immediately bin any tissues used when sneezing / coughing

lf icon

Clean hands thoroughly immediately - with hot water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds / if unavailable use hand sanitizer

lf icon

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

lf icon

Stop visitors to your site

lf icon

Stop your staff visiting sites of known or possible infection

lf icon

Increase site cleaning. This must include all- door handles / door push panels / telephones / hand-rails / light switches / other communal areas and items / printers and photocopiers

lf icon

Have sufficient quantities of alcohol based hand-gel / sanitising wipes / alcohol based cleaning agents

lf icon

Instigate site contingency plan - should staff be required to stay at home to look after children because of schools closures or relatives and others who succumb to infection*

*This should be instigated immediately family members and close friends of staff become infected, whether the staff member succumbs personally, remains at work, or not.  These steps may be too late, however, where incubation / carriers of the virus are already be on site.

Initially policies for Time Off for Dependents or Holiday should be used for time off.  Greater flexibility will be required where deaths impact on personnel. In all cases LFSSL will advice / confirm staff conditions of pay.

Goods, services and functions of LFSSL that are potentially essential to its operations and business are defined below:

lf icon

Carry out business planning i.e. which functions/services can be carried out by other locations/sites (if necessary)

lf icon

Develop an order of succession i.e. plan which functions/services can be carried out by personnel other than those normally given the task, and train non-essential back up staff to perform essential tasks

lf icon

Purchase/stockpile essential supplies, materials and equipment

lf icon

Ensure maintenance plans are up to date to guarantee that all equipment essential to the business’s operation, is capable of sustained operation

lf icon

Encourage a high take-up of annual flu jab vaccinations amongst employees at higher risk

lf icon

Put in place policies to enable flexible working in the event of a pandemic for key staff

lf icon

Ensure the adequate supplies of infection control materials (e.g. alcohol-based hand cleaners, wipes and cleaning materials) are held in readiness

lf icon

Ensure steps are taken to heighten awareness of LFSSLs infection control procedures, particularly covering hand hygiene

lf icon

Provide advice for all workers on personal, workplace and family protection as the pandemic develops

lf icon

Prepare employee support services, including grief counselling and psychiatric care

Implications for other H&S & HR Policies:

The Pandemic Policy and associated arrangements will only be invoked during a Pandemic outbreak and, at that time, will override existing policies with Board approval.

The policy is developed in the context of a duty to provide our customers with a level of service, whilst maintaining the health, safety and welfare of our staff.  The impact of a pandemic may be significant and consequently there may be a time when existing working arrangements will be insufficient and new arrangements covering some areas will have to be invoked, for example:

lf icon

Flexible working / alteration to work patterns

lf icon

Redeployment

lf icon

Overtime and unsocial hours

lf icon

Disruption to travel infrastructure

lf icon

Additional staffing provision

lf icon

Sickness absence

lf icon

Annual leave – cancellation / refusal

lf icon

Compassionate leave

lf icon

Carers / dependents leave

lf icon

Study leave – cancellation / suspension

lf icon

Support to Staff

lf icon

Staff who refuse to attend work

lf icon

Staff at high risk

lf icon