Stark – Covid 19 Update – 20.03.20

Stark continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation very carefully.  Our customers, partners and employees health and safety remain our absolute priority and as such, our actions are guided by the latest advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England.

We have been pro-active and measured in our approach so far, ensuring our daily processes are not interrupted due to the current situation.  These are the following actions we have taken:

All employees:

  • Stark is regularly updating its employees on the situation and on necessary precautions to take based upon expert advice
  • Mobilised our business continuity team to test and ensure our prepared plans are robust and effective
  • If any of our employees are feeling unwell, we ask that they contact their line manager and discretion is available to allow working from home

Office based employees

Within our offices we are installing anti-bacterial gel dispensers and displayed information of the importance of washing our hands to avoid the spread of any virus and to encourage our employees to follow good practice.

There is a limited chance that an employee could contract or meet someone who has the Coronavirus.  If this happened, it is likely that we would have to close one of our offices temporarily.  Therefore, we have tested the resilience of our software and access to our systems should the situation require any or all our employees to work from home.  Specific actions we have already taken include:

  • Ensuring all employees have virtual private networks (VPN) software installed on their laptops
  • Increasing VPN licenses to cater for potential increased homeworking
  • Require all employees to take home their laptops nightly to ensure that homeworking could commence instantaneously
  • A programme of one day, floor by floor and all office homeworking tests

The homeworking tests have proved very successful and have demonstrated that Stark has the ability to deliver a seamless service in the event of any enforced homeworking due to the spread of the coronavirus.

We are encouraging the use of video calling and conferencing to ensure that internal and external meetings can still take place with minimal disruption to normal business.

Field-based employees:

Our field-based engineers are likely to encounter many people during their working day and so we have communicated the most effective ways to protect themselves and others against contracting and spreading the coronavirus.  Specific advice taken from the NHS includes:

  • To frequently clean their hands, when visiting and leaving sites, following the advice to use ‘soap and hot water, cleaning your hands for the time it takes to sing happy birthday twice’
  • Cover any cough or sneeze with the bend of their elbow if they do not readily have a tissue to hand
  • If they have a tissue, cough and sneeze into a tissue and dispose of the tissue – ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’
  • Maintain a distance of at least 2 meter (6.5 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing

In addition, we have provided additional resources and advised:

  • Engineers begin their day by starting their ‘stay safe’ lone working app, confirming to us that they have completed a health check and have no symptoms of Covid-19
  • Using disposable gloves and respiratory mask as required
    • Need to wear a respirator mask if they meet a person with suspected coronavirus infection
    • Wear a respirator mask if they have a cold and are coughing or sneezing
  • If they choose to wear gloves then they must be removed and discarded in a bin immediately after leaving every site and to dispose of gloves, so as not risk any spread to multiple sites
  • Using hand sanitizer made available to every field-based engineer
  • Be polite when meeting customers but respectfully, do not shake hands with others
  • When arriving at a job, build the risk of coronavirus into their 60 second SHEA checklist
  • Avoid using handrails and door handles where possible and where there are no H&S implications, wash hands immediately after touching if unavoidable
  • Avoid touching your nose and eyes with your hand
  • Devices and gadgets must be cleaned regularly, at least once a day (see link)
  • Check advise from local authorities prior to attending area
  • If they visit a site and are refused access, simply abort the job and notify their manager
  • Anyone who has been to an area where coronavirus is spreading should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and take their temperature twice a day
  • Anyone who has been to a site which is now closed due to suspected coronavirus must monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days and take their temp twice a day

In addition, we will be guided by and ask our field based employees to comply with any contingency plans and procedures put in place by customers and partners.

In summary

Stark have demonstrated that their systems, processes and employees are resilient and that we retain the ability to deliver the same high level of service to our customers and partners during this difficult time.

It is also acknowledged that further measures will be taken as the number of coronavirus infections increases and we will continue to revise and update our strategy accordingly.

We remain committed to reducing the spread of the corona virus and we will continue to follow the Public Health England advice which can be found on the following link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Last updated
March 20, 2020