Today, 28th April 2020, is the World Day for Safety and Health at Work with a focus that will be slightly different than previous years, that this day usually brings awareness too. Today is about promoting the importance of remaining safe and healthy at work during the current global pandemic that is COVID-19.
The lockdown was put in place by the government to minimise social contact to ultimately reduce the spread of COVID-19. We are all, as businesses and individuals, facing many challenges to participate in the reduction of the spread of the infectious disease. These challenges are impacting our day to day lives and affecting our home life, work, physical and mental health, financial situations, and relationships.
For those key workers who are still working during this pandemic, they are sacrificing their health for the sake of others and the economy of our country. The Government has a very informative page that gives Guidance for Employers and Businesses on coronavirus, which you can read by clicking here if you want some clarification on the best practices to implement into your business.
How has it affected the Rap Interiors Team?
While we have 6 members of the team still working, including the 4 Directors, Project Manager and Marketing Manager, the other 10 members are furloughed.
You can see how we, as a small local company, are coping with the stresses of COVID-19 as a team and individually and how it has impacted us, by clicking here to read further.
How is it affecting the Construction Industry?
As a member of Finishes and Interiors Specialist sector, RAP Interiors take guidance and advice from this affiliated body. There are statistics from other companies in our industry in regards to how they are operating and adapting to working on-site as well as how they have been and will be affected.
Over 80% of companies feel comfortable that they can operate safely under the new Site Operating Procedures, but possibly not on some projects or some tasks with 79% agreeing that it is practical and safe to continue working at a reduced level.
However, 40% of businesses within the construction industry believe that the biggest constraint, once work resumes to normality, will be that their workers are concerned about returning to site.
Health and safety continues to be a key area in all industries, none more so than in the construction industry. Over the years many lives have been saved and countless injuries prevented. This is largely down to improvements in safety practices and control measures. Health and safety professionals strive to mitigate further risks in any way shape or form where it’s practically possible. Let’s face it, we all want to go home to our families after a hard day’s work. Read more on HSE statistics of workplace accidents here.
At Rap Interiors we are no different; we plan all our projects to protect everyone involved. With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, we have robust systems that are tried and tested. All our systems are implemented with the assistance of our external Safety Support Lighthouse Safety.
Health and safety is considered from the outset when we survey a new project by one of our experienced, professional team. The design team will create a beautiful interior design to meet our client’s vision whilst considering HS&E. In my role as Health and Safety Manager, I will be there to collect all the relevant information and speak with all parties involved in the project to devise plans for the project to run safely. Some of these plans include construction phase plans and risk assessments tailored to the specifics of the tasks we face through to delivery. With current live sites we have purchased our own hand sanitiser stations amongst many other requirements for normal PPE on sites, but we have to keep up with guidelines and keep our operatives and clients and the public safe as well
Unfortunately, we have been provided with a new problem in recent months in the form of COVID-19. A virus that has bought an unprecedented change to everyday life for us all here in the UK and around the world. This has caused great disruption in our industry which has led to lots of new precautions and measures to make essential work possible. With COVID-19 being a new virus we are learning more about how we can protect ourselves and others all the time.
Into our 4th decade
At Rap Interiors, we have adapted the services we provide to our clients to move with the times, across the three decades we have seen through. Our fourth decade has presented us with a tougher challenge that we will remember forever and reflect through our future projects.
What will the future look like?
COVID-19 will shape our office designs and school interiors to ensure they incorporate health and safety practices throughout. It will also have an impact on not only our practices but the health and safety practices throughout the construction industry. The health and safety of those who carry out the refurbishments will be at the forefront of a project’s importance.
In very strange times, we are all learning how to adapt and change our ways of doing business. Zoom has become our latest employee and we foresee this will waste less time for clients when we need to present ideas to them but moreover we are having to adapt our profile and ways of delivering projects to clients. We are a family business and look forward to getting our team back in the office as although working from home will be advantageous for many businesses, our team definitely prefer to be together. Although of course, if people need to work from home in the future because of childcare etc, the emerging technology we are using now will make this easier.
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