During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic we will be updating this blog regularly to keep our staff informed with the latest safety information form ourselves, the government and our clients. The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff is paramount and we want to make sure we continue to be able to provide services to the railway to ensure that the country's vital transport links are kept running.
It is therefore essential that you contact us if you or a family member have any of the symptoms of the Virus and not attend work so you don't put others at risk, we know this is a lot to ask but please think of others at this time:
A new persistent cough
A fever (38C+)
Follow the governments guidance on self-isolation: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
Also the guidance on social distancing:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has finally announced the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme that has been set up to help self-employed workers through these tough times.
The scheme will pay a taxable grant worth 80% of trading profits averaged over the last three years and follows in the foot steps of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, set up for employees, in having a cap of £2,500 and being available for at least the next three months.
To be eligible for the scheme you have to be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and have submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19. You also need to have traded in the tax year 2019-20 and have lost profits due to COVID-19.
However the scheme will not provide benefit to anyone with profits of more than£50,000 or those that don’t receive more than half of their income from self-employment. It also does not cover limited company contractors, with the Chancellor stating in the Government briefing that “those whopay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company are not covered by the scheme but will be covered for their salary by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme if they are operating PAYE schemes”.
Applications for the scheme cannot be made yet. HMRC will be contacting those eligible for the scheme to invite them to apply online. After an application has been made, HMRC will contact those people and tell them how much they are going to get, with payments being made in a single lump sum at the beginning of June.
We will keep you updated with any developments on this matter. We will also be writing to all our subcontractors to make them aware of this scheme.
here’s a quick 10-point guide for all drivers,not just van drivers, which has been produced in line with the guidance provided by UK Government.
1) Start the day
To minimise the risk of infection in the cab at the start of every working day, clean any areas likely to be touched by the driver or passengers. These should include the steering wheel, gear selector,handbrake, ventilation controls, radio/infotainment, seat controls, seat belts,grab handles and mirror adjusters. Be careful not to make the steering wheel and gear lever slippery in the process.
2) Clean outside
On the outside, clean all handles and doors especially in those areas likely to be touched (when slamming shut, etc). Also,pay close attention to the fuel flap and filler. When was it last refuelled?Can’t remember or don’t know? Give it a clean.
3) Be prepared
Keep cleaning products in the cab. If there’s a driver swap, remember to clean all those areas likely to be touched by the driver.
4) Clean the cab
In the cab, to reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve(not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue. Remember to throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser.
5) Check who you're collecting
If you know who you’re visiting, contact them first to see if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19. If they are, or are already self-isolating,
6) Don't shake hands
Don’t shake hands and whenever you get in or leave the vehicle, use sanitiser gel to clean your hands. Avoid touching your face at all times. Also, when you get the opportunity, ensure that your hands are washed regularly following World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines – 20 seconds with soap and hot water.
7) Is your drive essential?
The government’s guidelines are to avoid all non-essential travel – Each commercial vehicle is allocated for business purposes only as per vehicle policy.
8) Plan your route to avoid potential traffic hold-ups.
Have a look at where you’re going, and if you’re doing multiple visits or have several destinations, try to look at themost efficient route possible in order to avoid spending time spent in standing traffic.
9) Clean again
When you’ve finished for the day, clean the cab again, taking care to wipe all the areas that have been touched in the day.Also remember to remove any rubbish from the cab that could be harbouring the virus.
10) Check outside and in
Once you’re out, wipe all the door handles and door shuts, sanitise your hands again, and when you’re indoors, thoroughly wash your hands for 20 seconds following the World Health Organization guidelines.
These are the current guidelines and best practice to follow in order to stay safe in your work – and please bear in mind that at the current time and based on our understanding of what is known of COVID-19, it is likely that older people and those with chronic medical conditions may be vulnerable to severe disease.
Any further advice please follow: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Please have a read of the latest Southern Shield 'Home Safe' which is focusing on COVID-19
With the ever developing situation regarding Covid-19 we have to develop new processes almost daily. One of the common questions we are being asked, is about how we deliver briefings and ensure that staff are signing the SWP. I’ll set out below how we can do this whilst still observing the current Public Health advice.
Smaller groups of people to be briefed. This may mean that more briefings on the same site will need to be done.
Everyone will remain at least 2m apart.
The COSS/PIC will need to make sure there are suitable welfare provisions on site.
The COSS/PIC will input all staff’s details on the SWP. (Only the COSS/PIC should be touching their tablet)
The COSS/PIC will then sign on SWP for all members of staff and will do so by writing C19
All Sentinel cards will be scanned from a distance and not be touched by the COSS/PIC
The COSS/PIC will ensure that whilst the works are being done, they maintain 2m from any individual.
The COSS/PIC Will observe all staff on their site and ensure that the most current Public Health Advice is being followed.
MY SAFETY CRITICAL STAFF ARE OSBORNE’S LAST LINE OF DEFENCE
If any of the above is not being followed or they require any advice they need to raise it to the Site Supervision, Possession Delivery Managers or contact the SHE Hotline number 07971125180
Please can this message be sent out to all Safety Critical Staff.
Rail Assurance Manager
Really encourage all staff to read this, some essential and practical advice for our staff working out on site/track and how to stay safe! It's aimed at NR staff but it remains relevant to all those out there!
Further to our post yesterday we've been working on our phone systems while we are out of the offices, please see below a list of ways to get in touch with us:
Client Services – firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Smith – Rail Director – 07803934020 – email@example.com
Rod Lanigan – Rail BDM – 07872149586 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron Burnside – Rail Manager – 07920443136 – email@example.com
Rob Wands – Operations and H&S 07850936417 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety Critical Rail Resources – email@example.com
Luke Searing – 07525833298
Matt Corbett – 07864955467
Scott Thompson - 07860270392
Civils & Labour Resources – firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Hartman – 07885456305
Jimmy Candy – 07483099464
Josh Brown – S&T Manager – 07809232529 – email@example.com
Tom Johnson – Electrical – 07850642120 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Construction - email@example.com
Dan Hartman – 07885456305
Aaron Ardekani - 07485304492
Larisa Timofte - 07710855583
All payroll questions must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org who will contact you with a response.
All compliance requests to be sent to email@example.com or call 07483099469
White Collar - firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Fellows - Lead Consultant - 07715630219 - email@example.com
Andrew Snelgrove - Lead Consultant - 07485304493 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Malik Ajibola - Snr White Collar Consultant - 07860270390 - email@example.com
Megan Connors - Consultant - 07485304482 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see below from Network Rail Route Services:
We are putting plans in place to minimise disruption to rail services and support the movement of key workers and goods around our country at this difficult time.
A crucial element of our business continuity planning is ensuring we can call on enough skilled and experienced front line workers to maintain rail infrastructure. The measures put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 mean there will be times in the coming months when this will be extremely challenging.
We require your support in meeting this challenge head-on by making us aware of any members of your teams who could fill our business-critical roles.Specifically, we are looking for:
- Ex-Crossing Keepers
- Ex-Roster Clerks
- Ex-Mobile Operations Managers
- Ex-Electrical Control Operators
If you are aware of any members of staff who are willing to help us, please could you contact us via your local Network Rail teams or the following email address to provide their names, experience by role, competencies and location to COVIDemail@example.com.
I note that you may have received such a request already from our Regional colleagues and if you have already replied then there is no need to respond to this request.
Thank you for your assistance.
Commercial & Procurement Director | Route Services
*****UPDATE @ 08:00 24/03/2020*****
This has now been published on the Sentinel Website: https://info.railsentinel.co.uk/2020/03/24/covid-19-sentinel-extensions-to-competence-and-medical-certification/
Please see letter below from Sentinel, all competencies extended by 4 months (not just those expiring soon)...
"Network Rail has temporarily extended by four months all Sentinel railway competencies and medicals certificates."
Below are some practical steps we recommend you adopt to help you maintain the requirements set out by the UK Government in regards to social distancing:
· Keep at least 2 meters or more away from any staff you meet on site
· Do not mingle or congregate in communal areas such as canteens & cabins
· Briefings undertaken outside, staff members to remain 2 or more meters apart at all times, keep group size to a minimum, if this means doing multiple briefings then this is best
· Do not shake hands
· Use onsite facilities to wash your hands REGULARLY with soap and water - here's a 'handy' guide to hand washing from the BBC - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/health-51754472/coronavirus-how-to-wash-your-hands-in-20-seconds
· Do not share cars/vehicles where possible
· Do not touch or handle others Sentinel cards
· Sign in staff without touching devices such as tablets etc as the owner to do this for you
· Bring your own pen to sign in with/use - a communal pen will share the virus with all who use it
· Remember touching handles/doors etc can spread the virus
in line with the government recommendation to work from home where possible Deploy have enacted our emergency response plan which sees our offices out of bounds for the the foreseeable future. This is something we as a company didn't think we'd ever need to use but is something we are fully prepared for and will have no major impact in the service we provide to our staff and clients. It's very much business as usual...we've been doing for a week already!
As we are not in our offices we thought it was a good time to remind you all that you can still reach us in the usual ways, our landlines will be diverted but you may find it easier to contact us on the following email addresses if you need to get in touch:
firstname.lastname@example.org - for enquires relating to work within our construction, security & cleaning division
email@example.com - for enquires relating to work within our construction division
firstname.lastname@example.org - if you have any questions relating to pay, but you can always contact your resourcer/consultant in the usual way too!
email@example.com - if you are new and signing up with Deploy, have any sponsorship/sub-sponsorship questions or Sentinel issues
firstname.lastname@example.org - for all things training and assessment related
Stay safe out there guys and girls!
All the best, Deploy
At this time of challenges and uncertainty we wanted to remind all staff that that Deploy do have access to our assistance program 'Validium'.
This is a completely free service to all staff which you can access for lots of things from advice on money, how to access benefits , counselling, health and well-being advice and a host of other services. Check out their website www.validium.com login details are below
In-line with most recent advice regarding Covid-19 SSP is payable when someone is showing symptoms of illness/is ill:
- Employees are to complete a self-certification form if they need to self-isolate and will receive SSP from day 1
- If symptoms continue after 7 days they need to call 111 who will issue a sick note
Anyone who has been stood down from an assignment due to closure or self-isolation is not entitled to SSP.
The candidate will need to notify liquid Friday directly and send over details to the payroll team at email@example.com.