In these unprecedented times, keeping people connected is vitally important. Whilst the coronavirus pandemic and the measures put in place by the UK Government to combat the spread of the virus present significant challenges to our operations, we have adapted our working practices to ensure that all Government guidelines on safe working practices are met so that our ‘key workers’ can safely maintain our network and undertake necessary works to ensure that we can meet increasing demand, both in terms of capacity and new connections.
Below we have set out some of the steps we are taking to keep our people and the public safe, to ensure the continued operation of critical national infrastructure.
In conjunction with local authorities and contractors, we have undertaken risk assessments and implemented revised working practices to ensure that all ‘key workers’ can undertake field works in compliance with the Government’s guidelines and the advice of Public Health England. These measures include provision of additional information and training, issuing Personal Protective Equipment, implementation of working practices to ensure that social distancing can be observed wherever possible (for example, ‘key workers’ travel in separate vehicles to our sites and we have increased the size of areas being cordoned off around our street works, to provide increased working areas and maintain a safe distance from members of the public).
We have also introduced strict procedures and working practices so that install engineers can, where necessary, undertake works within premises.
Obviously this is a fast-moving and unprecedented situation for all of us. As a provider of critical national infrastructure, we shall continue to liaise with lead Government departments and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure to ensure that we are fully abreast of developments, so that our people and ‘key workers’ can continue to safely look after our network to ensure that services are delivered the time when then they are needed most.
We will keep you updated as often as we can.
Wherever possible our people are working from home with full and secure access to our systems. We are following all official guidelines and keeping those people who are working remotely regularly updated with important information and health and safety advice. For those ‘key workers’ who are unable to work from home (or who are required to attend our offices for certain essential tasks), additional measures have been put in place, including: