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
Pandemic Planning (including COVID-19 / Coronavirus)
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:
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:-
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:
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.
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.
*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:
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: