Updated 21 May 2020
The Materials Processing Institute recognises that our employees and their families, as well as our clients, suppliers and partners will be worried about the impact of COVID-19. This page outlines the Risk Assessment and key activities, we are undertaking to minimise disruption to our normal commercial activities and to protect and support our employees and the wider community.
This Risk Assessment is continually reviewed and will be updated in response to the changing nature of the risk and in line with the latest Government advice.
The Materials Processing Institute’s COVID-19 response began in February, based on observation of activity in other countries, particularly the Far East. Throughout the crisis, the Institute has remained focussed on our objectives to:
- Keep all staff, visitors and their families safe and well.
- Continue the operation of the Institute, in so far as is possible.
- Avoid any detrimental impact on the income of colleagues.
Immediate action was taken to protect colleagues and their families as follows:
- Anyone in the vulnerable group, or anyone who lives with, or cares for someone in the vulnerable group to work from home immediately. Where such people were unable to work from home they were furloughed on full pay.
- All other staff to work from home where possible.
- Recognising that not all staff can work from home, management controls were put in place to ensure social distancing at all times. In areas where social distancing is not possible, due to the nature of the work all staff in those areas have been furloughed on full pay.
To support home working staff have been provided with company IT equipment at home, and office furniture as required. All staff were able to carry out an ergonomic assessment of their home working space and request support where modifications are required. All staff have been provided with online health and safety training on working from home and in office ergonomics.
As is usual in the Institute, all of these actions have been taken in full consultation with the staff, trade union and directly elected staff director on the Institute board. There is a COVID-19 planning group, which meets weekly. It is chaired by the CEO and includes personnel from key functions, including the trade unions and directly elected staff director. The minutes of this group are detailed and are shared with all colleagues and external stakeholders. Where best practice is identified this is shared with the SME tenants at the Institute campus.
Actions have also been taken to support the national effort. We have set up a hand sanitiser manufacturing facility in one of our laboratories and are now supplying hand sanitiser free of charge to all of the Marie Curie nurses between York and Scotland. We also registered for the government scheme to manufacture ventilator components. All of our colleagues have been asked to be aware of people in our own community who may be self-isolating for protection and be prepared to offer help and support.
In recent weeks the Institute COVID-19 planning group has begun to focus on measures that need to be taken to ensure the safety of colleagues during the period when restrictions on activity begin to be lifted. This document is intended as a risk assessment and working procedure for managing the Institute during this period. It is a live document that is reviewed weekly and will be updated from time to time in line with best practice information available. The ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) principal of risk management has been adopted with respect to COVID-19, consistent with how risks are managed elsewhere in the business.
The most important immediate ongoing measures to be taken by all people are:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it. 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. See hand washing guidance . Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Further information and government advice can be found here.
We are working hard to adapt our businesses as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. We recognise that this crisis presents tremendous challenges for everyone and we as a business are committed to help and support one another to come through this difficult period.
The Institute shares the concerns and worries of our clients, suppliers and partners and our priority is protecting the health of our families, colleagues and anyone else we engage with throughout the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have put plans in place to remain fully operational and continue to provide all practicable services and support. All measures aim to slow the spread of the virus, minimise disruption to our business and maintain the delivery of projects for our clients and partners. These actions will support business continuity and ensure our business is resilient to unforeseen events and external factors, as well as appropriately protected against risk.
This is an unprecedented situation which will require us to continually review and evaluate how we operate as a business. We will endeavour to share information and advice for everyone’s benefit, and we are committed to remain transparent and to look after all our colleagues and their families and continue to work with and support our clients, partners and suppliers.
We will continue to make every effort to fulfil our commitments to our employees, clients, partners and other stakeholders.
If you have any concerns or questions, please get in touch, as by working together we can support each other as effectively as possible during these challenging times.
Members of the public, businesses, employers and employees are being asked to follow Government, NHS and Public Health England guidelines which can be found at gov.uk/coronavirus.
Stay safe and take care of each other.