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COVID-19 Secure Workplace: Our approach to risk management

At Allied Bakeries, we recognise that we have both a legal and moral duty to protect the safety and wellbeing of our employees from the risk posed by the transmission of COVID-19 in our workplaces.

Many of our employees have key worker status and our bakeries have remained open and fully operational throughout the course of the pandemic.

We believe that thorough risk assessment underpins effective risk management and that we have identified and put in place controls that serve to mitigate risk as far as is reasonably practicable.

As part of that risk assessment we have closely followed the 'COVID-19 Secure Workplace' advice given by the UK Government and Public Health England and have introduced some new measures and updated existing controls where appropriate.

We have used hierarchy of control principles to make sure that the most effective measures have been put in place, including: 

General Risk Management 

  1. Our offices have been closed and all employees who are able to work from home are doing so. Clear advice has been issued on homeworking and support provided where additional equipment is needed. We have provided support through regular communications covering business updates, advice on mental and emotional wellbeing and online social activities.

  2. We have fully restricted access to our sites. Only those contractors and visitors who are essential to ensure the safe running of our business have been admitted when needed. Those who do need to come onto site are screened for symptoms using a questionnaire.

  3. All non-essential business travel has been stopped, including travel between sites.

  4. All colleagues who have symptoms that may be COVID-19 are asked to self-isolate in line with the government guidelines, unless subsequent testing confirms a negative result.

  5. All employees who have been advised to shield by the government - the clinically extremely vulnerable and clinically vulnerable - have stayed at home.

  6. We are in contact with colleagues who have been categorised as clinically vulnerable, and any return to work will depend on a thorough individual risk assessment. 

Social Distancing 

  1. The majority of tasks within our bakeries can take place at a two-metre distance from others. Where social distancing cannot be achieved, we have introduced other controls such as screens between workstations.

  2. We have also identified non-routine tasks where two people are required. In these instances, a task specific risk assessment has been completed and where appropriate, additional PPE is worn.

  3. Staggered start and finish times have been introduced to facilitate social distancing when clocking in and in changing rooms.

  4. Where required, floor demarcation has been used to control the flow of movement.

  5. Social distancing measures have also been put in place in communal spaces such as at turnstiles, canteens, changing rooms and smoking areas. 

Cleaning, Handwashing and Hygiene Procedures 

  1. We have increased the frequency of cleaning across our sites and introduced enhanced sanitisation of common touch points such as doors, handles, handrails, trolleys and touchpad screens.

  2. We have also increased the frequency of cleaning of shared equipment such as forklift trucks and pallet trucks.

  3. In addition to our normal handwashing stations, hand sanitisation points are available across our sites, including in corridors and doorways.

  4. Specific cleaning protocols are in place in the event that a suspected case of COVID-19 becomes apparent in the workplace.

  5. Additional signage reminds colleagues of their responsibility around personal hygiene including regular hand washing. 

Drivers 

  1. Procedures have been put in place to ensure vehicle cabs are cleaned regularly.

  2. Our drivers have been provided with cleaning wipes and hand sanitiser.

  3. Drivers have been given hi-visibility jackets with a message on the back which advises passers-by to respect the two-metre rule.

  4. Optional face coverings have been made available. 

Summary

The controls put in place as a result of our risk assessment have been discussed with our Union representatives. As with all matters relating to health and safety, we have encouraged our whole workforce to share ideas for improvement and to raise any concerns they may have.

The Allied Bakeries Leadership Team have maintained regular communication throughout the crisis with employees right across the business, including through conference calls with Site Leaders several times a week and weekly written updates to all colleagues. A monthly conference call is also held with all office-based colleagues who are currently working at home.

We believe we are doing all we can to effectively minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our workplace and the health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues remains our #1 business priority. 

June 2020