HW Coates Response to COVID-19

Posted on Posted in News

During these challenging and unprecedented times, HW Coates would like to assure our clients that we continue to operate. 

HW Coates is committed to minimising the spread of the Coronavirus and our focus is to ensure that we can maintain all our services as local conditions and restrictions allow, whilst keeping our Team Members, clients, and members of the public safe and at the heart of every decision and action we take.

We understand how much our clients rely on our services and we are working hard to maintain service and limit the impact of any potential disruptions.

Business Continuity Plans

HW Coates has contingency plans to maintain operations in extraordinary situations.

We have conducted a risk assessment of our critical activities, resources and supply chain and we have developed full and robust business continuity plans to maintain services and security to the upmost level while complying with local and government restrictions.

Our Business Continuity Plans include:

  • A Crisis Management Team who communicate daily.
  • Monitoring the progress of our Business Continuity Plans and any new or emerging risks through our Crisis Management Team and mitigating these accordingly.
  • We have moved our operations to home-based working wherever possible.  If a job function requires attendance to office or warehouses this is carried out observing a 2 metre distance from colleagues at all times.
  • We have made changes to our delivery and collection processes to protect the health and safety of our Team Members and clients and minimise the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • On request, we can scan and send records instead of physically delivering them.
  • Quickly mobilising and deploying resources across HW Coates group of operations in accordance with priorities. Our Team Members are cross-trained which means we can be flexible and responsive in our use of group resources.
  • Business Continuity and resilience plans take account of the possibility that key workers or key facilities may be impacted by COVID-19.

Team Members

  • We are issuing regular communications to remind our Team Members of good hygiene practice and the requirement to comply with medical and government advice in relation to the basic protective measures against COVID-19, this includes personal travel and sickness reporting.
  • We are issuing appropriate PPE to Team Members in order to complete job functions safely including hand sanitiser for delivery drivers.
  • We are issuing regular communications and guidance to managers to support them with handling any COVID-19 cases in accordance with official medical, government, legal and HR advice.
  • We have implemented a no-physical contact policy which includes the use of online tools to hold meetings.
  • We have imposed travel restrictions for all non-business critical travel.
  • We continue to raise Team Member awareness of cyber-attacks in light of the increased risk of criminals exploiting the coronavirus to obtain sensitive personal information.
  • Team Members engaged in the provision of essential services have been identified across all storage centres we operate, and where required notified of their status.
  • We have cross trained a number of staff in each facility to cover all essential services should the normal staff fall ill or not be able to fulfil their duties.

Clients

  • Limiting retrievals & collections for only necessary documents.
  • Providing a single safe point of collection / delivery on their premises.
  • Allowing our staff to deliver / collect items whilst remaining a minimum of 2 metres distance
  • We are no longer asking clients to handle our hand-held devices for signature. Instead our Team Members are logging the name of the authorised individual accepting the delivery.
  • Utilising our Scan on Demand Service as a preference to physical retrieval.

Visitors and contractors

  • All visitors and contractors to any HW Coates site are required to complete a declaration confirming that they do not have any known symptoms of COVID-19 and have not knowingly come in to contact with any other person who has been infected with the virus. Access will be denied if confirmation cannot be provided.
  • All non-business-critical visits to our sites have been cancelled and/or rescheduled to a later date.

We will continue to monitor the situation through official channels and will take all necessary actions to maintain our services whilst complying with government directives.

This is an evolving situation and we will do all we can to ensure we communicate changes to our service as advice and restrictions are updated.

Any updates will be communicated on our website and through email and telephone communication as required.

James Stoute

Director – Records Management Division