Staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Horton Housing takes the safety and wellbeing of its clients, employees, volunteers, partners and stakeholders very seriously. The Senior Management Team (SMT) and other key colleagues recognised that the COVID-19 pandemic would have an unprecedented impact on our employees, clients and the way in which we all live and work. To mitigate and monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the organisation SMT appointed a COVID-19 planning group comprising of:
• Head of HR
• Communications Manager
• Head of Administration
The group meet every Monday to review the impact of COVID-19 and agree actions following the latest guidance from:
• The UK Government
• Public Health scientific advisers
• World Health Organisation
• Local Authorities
The group also consider feedback from employees, clients and stakeholders from across the organisation.
We have completed comprehensive Working Safely Risk Assessments for all areas of our operations, services and departments. Our Working Safely Risk Assessments have identified a range of controls to manage the risk of COVID-19 cross contamination and transmission. Where the risk of COVID-19 cannot be controlled to an acceptable level, we have suspended these services and work activities.
The following areas of the organisation have been risk assessed:
• Central services
• Supported accommodation services
• Floating support and outreach services
• Dispersed accommodation services
• Property services
• Training Centre and the delivery of training and services provided via the Training Centre
• Head offices and office environments
As a result of the Working Safely Risk Assessments, we have implemented a range of controls which include:
• Where risk of transmission cannot be controlled, services and work activities have been suspended
• All employees who can work from home are working from home
• Where home working is not possible, employees are working in ‘bubbles’
• We have enhanced cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with official guidance for all our operations
• We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m social distance in the workplace. Where social distancing is not always possible, we have put in place measures to manage transmission risk including changing office layouts, limiting the number of people in each room, usage of face coverings
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been issued for employees to use as required
• We have increased the level of signage in our workplaces to ensure that social distancing and hygiene standards are observed
• We have provided information and instruction to ensure employees and clients are aware of the precautions needed to control transmission
• We are monitoring the implementation of the controls across the organisation, compliance is tracked and reported to the COVID-19 group.
The Working Safely Risk Assessments are reviewed and the templates updated by the members of COVID-19 group to ensure controls are still relevant and being implemented. The Working Safely Risk Assessments were consulted on across the organisation.