Croft Architecture's COVID-19 Second Lockdown Safeguarding Measures
A second four week lockdown will commence on Thursday 5th November 2020 in England. The health and safety of our staff, clients and everyone involved in projects is extremely important to us at Croft Architecture.What are we doing?
Following the Prime Ministers announcement on Saturday evening we wanted to let you know directly what steps we're taking to ensure we are fully prepared for another lockdown and we will be complying with Government rules and advice.
A second lockdown is unfortunate but necessary to control the spread of virus in England and government has outlined the new stronger restrictions which are similar to the initial lockdown in Spring with the exception of educational facilities remaining open. 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.
We continue carefully monitor and stay up to date with the latest news and expert advice regarding the coronavirus and regularly assess 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.
What changes have we made?
Following the news of a second lockdown 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.
As before we will continue working as normal from home with as little disruption as possible until we return to office in four weeks time.
Updated Operational measures
From Thursday 5th November 2020 all staff will work from home in line with our ISO accredited business continuity plan.
Our phone systems internet based and we are still contactable on 01785 248542. In fact, our telephone system has vastly improved and we can answer your call from anywhere, via our mobile telephones or computers.
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 and wear PPE whilst on site to keep everyone safe. All parties will be asked for their acceptance and agreement prior to carrying out the visits.
What does this mean for construction projects?
Boris Johnson has made it clear that construction sites can remain open during the second lockdown and all trades can continue to operate as normal. In his address to the nation he stated that “Workplaces should stay open where people cannot work from home – for example, in the construction or manufacturing sectors”.
Construction teams can still work whilst adhering to the social distancing rules by staying two metres apart or more. Covid secure operating procedures should already be in place and sites should already be functioning under the new rules, so there should little or no change on site. Tradespeople can also continue to work in customers’ homes as long as both the worker and household members have no symptoms of coronavirus.
All construction sites of any size that are operating during the second lockdown need to ensure they are protecting their workforce and minimising the risk of spread of infection. We continue to liaise 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?
There is no change in planning departments operations whom we are working with. We know that their service is still functioning virtually and that applications still can be made online via the planning portal. Face to face meetings (pre application meetings/duty meetings) with planning officers are no longer available but the services are still been offered just over the phone or in writing.
There is still a noticeable difference in the momentum of processing applications and the 'normal' average period for processing planning submissions may incur a delay due to the accumulation of applications from the initial spring lockdown and the change in planning departments working patterns.
If you are planning on starting a project it may be prudent to begin now to get the process started.
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.
Business as normal (again)
We will continue to operate during standard business hours remotely. As we mentioned above our phone system and our emails are working as normal - so please do stay in touch. You can find us across many social platforms where you can easily contact us too. (See the links below)
Not only are our team all used to working with remote clients, but we all seamlessly addressed the first lockdown together and it will be no different from Thursday onward. We'll continue to utilise our office software whilst working remotely and this means that business and projects will continue as normal.
We will remain in contact with one another and we can easily share information and interact with each other and clients, via email (as normal) and any meetings are being held via Microsoft Teams (so we can see each other and share our screens.
We will continue to work with our clients and the project teams over the next month so that projects can continue as normal, without delay.
Once again we would like to reassure you that we will continue to comply with the NHS and government guidelines as they evolve.
If you have any questions at all please feel free to contact us on 01785 248542 or email email@example.com
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