There can be no doubt that every person and business has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown and restrictions. As a key service provider to the UK food, energy to waste and petrochemicals sectors, we have continued to operate throughout the lockdown period, albeit under strict guidelines to ensure the safety of our workforce and customers.
Whilst the lockdown may be easing and many businesses in the UK return to work, the team at Blackrow have already adjusted to this new way of working ensuring no interruptions or delays in service to our clients.
Our ‘new normal’
Our range of services covers office-based processes such as design and project management to fabrication and installation. So for us, we had to look at many different ways of working to assess how we could stay operational and stay safe throughout all phases of the Coronavirus pandemic.
- The majority of our office-based staff, such as the Design team and back-office support, were able to work from home. Utilising Microsoft Teams technology ensured they were able to keep in touch with other team members and clients.
- Our HSE department have implemented policies and control measures and updated the workforce regularly on staying safe both within our various workshops and also whilst visiting our valued customers.
- In our workshop areas, we were able to implement social distancing measures so our fabricators and engineers were able to work safely. We are fortunate that our workshop spaces are spacious and allow for production to continue so that we can meet our clients' expectations.
- Our fabrication space means we are able to build and test on-site in our Blackrow workshop before installing finished products on our customer’s sites. This reduces the amount of time we need to be on-site and helps to combat the virus. This process is something that has always been a huge benefit for our clients, but the current situation has made it even more important.
- For the final installations, we worked closely with clients to risk assess the area and process. We were then able to implement measures such as reducing the number of workers on-site at any time, isolating work areas wherever possible and establishing social distancing protocols in areas that could not be self-contained.
New business without the face to face
As with most businesses, much of our new business activity prior to lockdown involved face to face meetings. Although video meetings were able to replace these meetings, they cannot replace a visit to our site. Site visits play a crucial part of establishing trust with potential clients as it allows them to gauge our scale, capacity and working practices.
We had already identified that having a video that showed the site and our services would help people to see what we offer, and the lockdown situation has made this even more of a priority. We were lucky to have been able to get the filming done complete filming on-site just prior to the lockdown measures being introduced nationally. Our video, now produced which has really helped us to demonstrate our capacities when in discussions with potential new clients and will continue to be useful in the future for potential clients who can view our full potential remotely. are maybe too far away to necessitate an in-person visit.
Helping our clients to protect workers from Covid-19 and achieve have safe working environments
Safety measures such as sneeze screens are now becoming part of our everyday life in retail outlets, and demonstrates what could be the future of protecting employees, but what about manufacturing?
We have been involved in manufacturing screens to make sure ensure production line operatives can stay safe whilst working in close proximity to each other. These have proved to be very popular within the food production sector.
Finally, this crisis has highlighted what a great team we have at Blackrow. Under often difficult circumstances, everyone has worked together to ensure that we have continued to support our clients in delivering their projects to the highest of standards.
Look out for our next blog on how Blackrow combats mental health in the workplace!