With the impact of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak being felt by businesses around the world, we are writing to update you on preparations we are taking for the potential implications of this significant global challenge.
Preparing to ensure business continuity in all scenarios, including during situations like pandemics, is a regular activity at Flame Hold Ltd.
We have sub-contractors and employed personal working in our own offices and across multiple locations (sites) in the UK to fulfil our purchase orders.
When the first cases of Covid-19 were identified in the UK, our management team convened to monitor and review the situation and put in place specific measures to manage the resulting risks.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 to 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, they have not been infected.
The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
- difficulty in breathing
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
From what is known about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres or less) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.
Respiratory secretions produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes containing the virus are most likely to be the main means of transmission.
There are 2 main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:
- infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or possibly could be inhaled into the lungs.
- it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching door knob or shaking hands then touching own face)
There is currently little evidence that people who are without symptoms are infectious to others.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
Public Health England (PHE) recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
- put used tissues in the bin straight away
- wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Face masks for the subcontractors and employed personnel are not recommended to protect from infection, as there is no known evidence of benefit from their use outside healthcare environments.
At Flame Hold Ltd we are taking the following specific actions:
- Any sub-contractor or employed personnel must stay away from work and inform the management team immediately if they feel unwell, have a cough, difficulty in breathing and/or a fever.
- Any subcontractor or employed personnel must stay away from work and inform the management team immediately if they become are aware that they have been in contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19.
- A member of the management team will visit each site a minimum of 3 times each week to check on the welfare of the subcontractors and employed personnel.
- We are following all government guidelines with respect to international travel.
- Colleagues returning from travel, either business or personal, from a high-risk area are being asked to stay away from work for 14 days irrespective of symptoms.
- We request that managers, caretakers, liaison officers etc. – at properties where we are booked to carry out works – inform our office immediately if it is decided that access to the property/properties is to be denied/restricted in an effort to protect vulnerable people or to isolate potentially infected individuals.
We do not currently foresee any impact on the continuity of our service, but should the situation change we will notify you immediately. Although we believe the actions we have put in place are appropriate for the current levels of risk, they are in constant review.
We will be in contact as the situation evolves.