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Saturday, 4 July

Businesses Step Up Coronavirus Contingency Planning 

Businesses Step Up Coronavirus Contingency Planning 

UK businesses are preparing for immediate action and contingency planning in the event of a widespread UK outbreak of the COVID-19 Virus.

On 30 January, the World Health Organisation declared the crisis as a “global health emergency” once the virus spread outside of China. Since then, the infection has spread to more than 25 countries, killing 1,800 people so far. (Source: BBC News).

Companies in the facilities management sector are looking to reassure their customers, suppliers and employees by sharing insights on how they would best manage a Coronavirus outbreak within their organisation.


Facilities management staff contingency plans


In their January update to all staff members, TCFM stated that immediate action had been taken to brief their staff:

“All managers have been briefed on the advice given by Public Health England with a specific request for any colleague who has returned from any of the named countries to be sent home (on full pay) for the period of incubation (14 days) and encouraged to seek medical attention.

“Communication of any such cases will be passed immediately to our customers for their own safety planning, and also to our own colleagues who may have come into contact with the individual, a watchful eye kept over teams to ensure that should anyone else start showing symptoms, they are also sent home and asked to seek medical advice.”

TC Facilities Management (TCFM) have been providing a range of facilities management services for over 55 years and is one of the UK’s top 2% cleaning and security services providers.

Additionally, TCFM has agreed on the following contingency plans:


  • In the event of an outbreak in an area where there are TCFM Head office or support office locations, those colleagues showing symptoms will be sent home and everyone else advised to work from home
  • Deep cleans across all affected sites – once completed any unaffected colleagues will be asked to return
  • Training to be provided to all employee on the correct PPE that is required and the extra steps to take such as increased hand washing
  • Review of cleaning spec within all client locations, extra time to be taken on touch points such as handles, doors, desks, ATMs, counters, hand rails, telephones, tables and chairs, taps, switches, sides/work surfaces.


Soft services replicate MRSA measures 


Richard Parkin, National Account Director at SafeGroup, told ThisWeekinFM that their Coronavirus contingency plans very much echo previous viral outbreaks.

SafeGroup is a specialist in emergency soft FM services, including extreme deep cleaning. 

Parkin stated: “At the SafeGroup our client’s emergencies are our everyday, with the coronavirus offering very much replicating how we dealt with previous outbreaks such as MRSA and Swine Flu.


“We understand the impact an outbreak would have if an entire commercial block, residential area or educational/medical building became contaminated. Our 24hr response teams are fully equipped and trained to deal with such outbreaks and have completed many successful cleans to date.”

–Richard Parkin

National Account Director, SafeGroup 


“To assist our clients and suppliers we have released a bulletin to offer support and advice. Maintaining excellent hygiene standards is an important measure to prevent the spread of viruses

“We understand the impact an outbreak would have if an entire commercial block, residential area or educational/medical building became contaminated. Our 24hr response teams are fully equipped and trained to deal with such outbreaks and have completed many successful cleans to date.”


A contractor’s guide to Coronavirus


From a legal point of view, international law firm Clyde & Co has established a “Contractor’s Guide to Managing the Commercial Impact of the COVID-19 Virus on Construction Projects”

The guide says: “The outbreak of the COVID-19 has already had a significant effect on global businesses due to shortages in the labour market and disruptions to supply chains.

“The construction industry is far from immune to such effects and concerns are being raised by contractors and employers alike as the commercial impact of the outbreak is being immediately felt across the globe.

Their resource is intended to provide some guidance to contractors seeking to analyse the issues that apply in their specific situations.

The advice centres on three main areas: 


  • Difficulties in procuring materials and plant: Many cities in China were and still are under an unprecedented lockdown with labour unable to move around freely;  the reopening of some factories after Chinese New Year has been delayed and some shipping carrying plant and materials have been unable to leave China 
  • Difficulties in movement of staff to and from China and within the region (labour as well as executive management): Staff may be unable to leave or return to China, or are subject to compulsory quarantine periods.  In addition to the lockdown of some cities, various countries have restricted entry of Chinese nationals or foreigners who have travelled to China. Many airlines have halted their flights to China. Travellers have been placed under quarantine, or have cancelled their business trips to China fearing they would be quarantined upon returning to their home countries
  • Difficulties caused by implementing preventive measures on site and/or dealing with the effects of a COVID-19 outbreak on site and/or production facilities: These include everyday measures such as additional cleaning and temperature checking for labour and visitors; mandatory leave of absence, quarantine orders, additional accommodation for replacement labour etc


Picture: UK businesses are preparing for immediate action and contingency planning in the event of a widespread UK outbreak of the COVID-19 Virus

Article written by Ella Tansley


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