COVID - 19 - UK Government update on staying at home - 24th March

Croft Architecture UK Government update on staying at home

Croft Architecture's COVID-19 Safeguarding Measures Update

Croft Architecture takes the health and safety of our staff, clients and everyone involved in projects extremely seriously.

The Prime Ministers announcement yesterday evening outlined additional measures to control the spread of coronavirus. This includes stronger restrictions on staying at home, and closure of non-essential shops and community spaces. Following on from this our team are adhering to the government's instructions as it is our civic duty to do so to save lives and support the NHS.

You can find details of the government statement on these measures at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

What does this mean for construction projects?

Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, appeared on BBC Breakfast News this morning in an attempt to clarify the rules around Boris Johnson’s lockdown. Gove said open air construction work is acceptable and that construction teams should still be going to work whilst adhering to the social distancing rules by staying two metres apart or more. Tradespeople, such as plumbers and electricians, could attend emergencies only in people’s homes.

Whilst the guidance from Public Health England will constantly be under review in the future, at present, all construction sites of any size that are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic need to ensure they are protecting their workforce and minimising the risk of spread of infection. We are liaising with contractors, consultants and suppliers to ensure that they are doing their utmost to keep construction sites safe and operational wherever it is practical to do so.

Are planning departments still operating?

We've made contact with the planning departments whom we are working with and many have responded to advise that their service is still functioning with a few adjustments given the current situation. The planning officers are no longer having face to face meetings (pre application meetings/duty meetings) but the services are still been offered just over the phone or in writing.

Applications still can be made online via the planning portal.

Consistency and reliability: Streamlining business operations through ISO

Croft Architecture’s decision to continually work towards ISO accreditation's has meant that we were prepared to tackle the recent changes to be implemented by the government through the management systems we already in place.

Our Quality Management Systems enable our team to improve performance whilst in or out of the office environment, thanks to our robust processes and management techniques. We will continue to monitor, evaluate and make changes where necessary to streamline processes and business operations to ensure business continuity for our clients.

What changes have we made?

Following the recent changes we wanted to let you know directly what steps we're taking to ensure we are prepared for the changing scenarios and complying with Government instructions.

We are in exceptional circumstances and we are regularly assessing any implications for our activities and projects. We are working hard to ensure that any risk and disruption is minimised, implementing precautionary measures where necessary to reduce the spread of the virus, whilst ensuring that we can remain fully functioning for our clients.

Our aim is to continue working as normal with as little disruption as possible.

Updated Operational measures

  • From today (24th March) all staff are now working-from-home in line with our ISO accredited  business continuity plan.

  • Our phone systems have been diverted and we are still contactable on 01785 248542.

  • The risks associated with site activities and visits will be assessed on a case by case basis and we will judge what is possible in terms of physical meetings based on the governments directions.

  • We would like to continue to appraise new sites (where social risk is low) and we welcome new enquiries,

  • We will continue to working closely (virtually) with our existing clients to keep their projects moving forwards. 

  • Virtual meetings are to be held where physical attendance is not possible.

  • We will strictly adhere to the government's guidance on social distancing whilst on site to keep everyone safe. All parties will be asked for their acceptance and agreement prior to carrying out the visits.

 

Business as normal 

We will continue to operate during standard business hours remotely. Our phone systems have been diverted and our emails are working as normal - so please stay in touch. You can find us across many social platforms where you can easily contact us too. (See the links below)

Our team are used to working with remote clients and we'll continue to utilise our office software whilst working remotely. This means that business will continue as normal!

We are still in contact with each other and we can easily share information and interact with one another and clients, via email (as normal) and any meetings are being held via Zoom (so we can see each other and share our screens), FaceTime, Teams or Whatsapp .

It is our intention to continue to work with our clients and the project teams so that when the time comes, and COVID-19 has been defeated - our projects (and lives) can continue on, without delay. We feel this is vitally important for our health and for the UK economy.

Once again we would like to reassure you that we will continue to comply with the government guidelines, as they evolve. www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

 
Whilst we are facing the most uncertain of times, we are certainly trying to ensure it’s business as usual in such an unusual environment! 

If you have any questions at all please feel free to contact us on 01785 248542 or email enquires@croftarchitecture.com

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