Severn Waste Services and Mercia Waste Management

Severn Waste Services – COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Procedure

Purpose

Severn Waste is committed to the health and safety of its employees. The COVID-19 has affected all areas of society, from how employees go about their day to day life, including work and also to how the Company operates within the wider community. The Government guidance is subject to change to reflect the nature of the spread and development of the threat. This document will be updated as advice is amended by Government.

Scope

This guidance applies to all permanent and temporary employees of the Company, contractors, officers, consultants, casual workers, agency workers, and any other individuals working at the Company premises. References to Statutory Sick Pay and other company procedures, such as absence reporting would apply to permanent staff. 

Current Government Guidance

Since 19th July 2021, many of the COVID-19 legal restrictions have now been lifted. However, while the restrictions are being relaxed, the responsibility to comply will be down to the individual to manage. The current advice is that, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious, this means;

Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19

For most people, COVID-19  will be a mild illness, However, if you have any of the symptoms above you must stay at home and arrange to have a PCR test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/to arrange a test.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of:

COVID-19 Testing – NHS PCR Test

Testing will be available via the NHS if;

Arranging an NHS PCR test

Any individual can book a COVID-19 test directly at;
https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test Instructions on where and when to go for the test will then be issued.
If an individual is getting a test because they have symptoms, they must stay at home (self-isolate) until the test results are received.

Any close contacts must also self-isolate until the test result is known – unless they are exempt from self-isolation.

Test Results

If the test result turns out to be negative, it is safe to return to work, as long as:

Keep in mind that even if the test is negative for COVID-19, the symptoms could be another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they have recovered.

If the test result is positive, the employee cannot return to work. They will need to continue to self-isolate. Read NHS advice about how long to self-isolate.

NHS Test and Trace Service

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works

The service will allow Public Health England to trace the spread of the virus and isolate new infections and play a vital role in giving an early warning if the virus is increasing again, locally or nationally and contain the virus by reducing its spread.

Part 1: for someone with symptoms of COVID-19

Part 2: if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and you are not exempt from self-isolation

Exemptions from Self-Isolation for Close Contacts

You are not required to self-isolate if you are notified you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and any of the following apply:

You are fully vaccinated 14 days after your final dose of an MHRA-approved vaccine that was administered in the United Kingdom. This is to allow for an antibody response to develop. If you were fully vaccinated at the time you had close contact with a positive case, you will not be required to self-isolate.

NHS Test and Trace will contact you to:

Even if you do not have symptoms, you will be advised to have a PCR test as soon as possible.

You should not arrange to have a PCR test if you have previously received a positive PCR test result in the last 90 days, unless you develop any new symptoms of COVID-19, as it is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for some time after COVID-19 infection.

Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread. In addition to getting a PCR test, you may also consider:

Workplace Risk

COVID-19 is a new risk that must be incorporated into workplace risk assessments. All employers must therefore carry out a new COVID-19 risk assessment. Severn Waste Services are confirmed as COVID-19 secure and display the certificate is on website. If any COVID-19 risk assessments are required please contact the relevant HSEQ Manager for the site.

Social Distancing

The legal restrictions around social distancing measures have now been lifted. However, to reduce the risk of infection, avoid crowding and minimise opportunities for the virus to spread by maintaining a distance of at least 1 metre between people wherever possible.

Please ensure that all existing workplace COVID-19 measures are followed at all times, including social distancing, following one way systems, hand washing and the adoption additional hygiene measures such as sanitising and cleaning down all equipment regularly.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing

Measures to limit Transmission and Infection in the workplace

With the introduction of the government’s guidelines on working safely during COVID-19 the Company has introduced various measures designed to limit the transmission and infection of COVID-19 in the workplace and therefore protect the health and safety of all employees. Temperature Screening and Lateral Flow testing allows employers to identify possible cases of COVID-19.

For further information on working safely during COVID-19 see government guidance https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Temperature Checks

Temperature checks will be carried out based on a site-specific risk assessment, as fever is one of the known symptoms of an active COVID-19 infection and is easy to administer. The full procedure can be found within the Safe Systems of Work –163 Temperature Screening and the accompanying policy Employee Temperature Screening Policy.

Lateral Flow Testing

Lateral Flow Testing will be carried out based on a site-specific risk assessment, to identify positive asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace and therefore take measures to reduce transmission through self-isolation. The full procedure can be found within the Safe Systems of Work –175 Lateral Flow Testing and the accompanying lateral flow testing policy.

Self-Isolation

Current Government advice is that, anyone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, may have a possible COVID-19 infection and is waiting for a test result or feels unwell with these symptoms, however mild should remain at home for 10 days. Follow the guidance below and book a test if they haven’t already done so. Employees will be paid their usual contractual pay following a positive COVID-19 result for a maximum of 10 days.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

If an employee or a member of their household have symptoms of COVID-19, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days, unless as close contacts, they are exempt from self-isolation. Usual absence procedure and contractual rules for SSP and Company Sick Pay will apply.

If An Employee Becomes Unwell at Work

If an employee becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in the business or workplace they should be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance.

They will need to book a COVID-19 test directly at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 or call 111 if they don’t have internet access. In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the doctor, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection.

Cleaning/Disinfection of Shared Equipment

Equipment that is used by other people for example PWS, radios, telephones, or shared computer equipment should be cleaned each time after individual use with either a damp soapy cloth, antibacterial wipes (containing at least 60% alcohol) or anti-bacterial gel (containing at least 60% alcohol).

Vehicles should similarly be cleaned with each change of driver/crew (steering wheel, handbrakes, controls, door handles etc. If employees would like to take further measures in the meantime, paper suits, gloves are available for those employees cleaning communal areas and bleach/disinfectant is readily available
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings

Procedure For Employees Who Suspect They May Have COVID-19 Or Need to Self-Isolate

If An Employee Needs Time Off Work to Look After Dependants

Employees are entitled to time off work to help someone who depends on them (a 'dependant') in an unexpected event or emergency. This would apply to situations to do with COVID-19. For example, if they have children they need to look after or arrange childcare for because their school has closed. This leave is unpaid.
The amount of time off an employee takes to look after someone must be reasonable for the situation. For example, they might take 2 days off to start with, and if more time is needed, they can book holiday.

If a dependant such as a partner, child or relative in the same household gets COVID-19 symptoms, everyone in the household must self-isolate for 10 days (unless exempt from self-isolation as a close contact) and they should receive statutory sick pay as a minimum for this time.
https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus/time-off-work-to-look-after-someone

Entering Or Returning to The UK

What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the last 10 days before you arrive.
People planning to travel to England should follow the guidance on entering the UK.
Find out which list the country you are travelling from is on and what you need to do.

Attending Meetings / Attending Other Sites

When attending sites or meetings, please ensure social distancing in the offices / enclosed areas can be maintained and that numbers remain manageable. When visiting other sites please keep socially distanced from others, this would apply to all areas including weighbridges, canteens, and HRC offices. If you are unable to keep at least a 1 metre gap, ensure that masks are worn and that areas are well ventilated.

Face Coverings

The Government have advised that individuals should remain cautious and continue the use of face coverings in crowded areas, particularly inside, where distancing is not always possible or ventilation is not available. Also, in situations where individuals might come into contact with people they are not usually in contact with.

We believe masks offer a degree of protection from transmission and, with rates still high, we are asking that staff continue to wear face coverings where they feel necessary, when working in enclosed areas. Please continue to maintaining safe distances and ensuring good ventilation.

A face covering can be very simple and may be worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible. It just needs to cover your mouth and nose. It is not the same as a face mask, such as the surgical masks or respirators used by health and care workers. Similarly, face coverings are not the same as the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used to manage risks like dust and spray in an industrial context. Supplies of PPE, including FFP3 face masks, must continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings like those exposed to dust hazards.

It is important to note that the evidence of the benefit of using a face covering to protect others is weak and the effect is likely to be small, therefore face coverings are not a replacement for the other ways of managing risk, including minimising time spent in contact with others, social distancing and increasing hand and surface washing. These measures remain the best ways of managing the coronavirus risk in the workplace.

Face coverings will be available for all colleagues and it will be personal choice to wear them while working outdoors, but to our colleagues who are in contact with the public, we would ask you are considerate to the concerns of others and wear a mask if necessary.

When wearing a face covering, please follow these simple rules:

1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it
2. Avoid touching your face or face covering, you could contaminate them with germs from hands
3. Change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
4. Continue to wash your hands regularly
5. Change and wash your face covering at least daily
6. If the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste
7. Practise social distancing wherever possible

Payment for self-Isolation

Self-isolation with no positive COVID-19 test result for the employee

Usual absence procedure and contractual rules for SSP and Company Sick Pay will apply for self-isolation as a precaution. Employees and workers must receive as a minimum, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to them if they need to self-isolate from day one, because:

Self-isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test result for the employee

Usual absence procedures will also apply, however employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be entitled to their usual contractual pay for 10 days while they are self-isolating and recovering from COVID-19. This will be subject to the necessary documentation being provided.

If someone has symptoms, they should apply for testing for themselves and their households and follow the self-isolation guidelines if they test positive.
Employees not eligible to receive sick pay, including those earning less than an average of £118 per week, are able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance. For those on a low income and already claiming Universal Credit, it is designed to automatically adjust depending on people’s earnings or other income.

Test and Trace Support Payment

Depending on personal circumstances an individual may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if they are required to stay at home and self-isolate. This payment is facilitated through the Local Authorities and they will need to be contacted directly.

Self-Isolation documentation

Employees will need to document any self-isolation periods. Self-isolation notes can be obtained from https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note. This can be emailed to the Company directly. 

 


Severn Waste Services
The Marina, Kings Road, Evesham
Worcestershire WR11 3XZ

Tel: 01386 443376
Fax: 01386 446757
Email: enquiries@severnwaste.co.uk

Mercia Waste Management
The Marina, Kings Road, Evesham
Worcestershire WR11 3XZ

Tel: 01386 443376
Fax: 01386 446757
Email: enquiries@severnwaste.co.uk

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