As the world was heading into a Coronavirus tailspin in March this year, SCE’s Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Superintendent Geoff Mellon was part of the senior management team putting measures in place to ensure the business continued to operate ‘business as usual.’
Leaving no stone unturned, the senior management team systematically implemented robust controls, including a special convened daily COVID-19 team briefing during the first month of lockdown restrictions, to ensure the wheels kept turning.
“This involved identifying any potential issues and our response if they were suspected of COVID-19. For example, isolation and deep cleaning and then reviewing our processes and improving processes,” Geoff said.
“As a result, we integrated changes right across the business, including sanitary cleaning stations and hand sanitising when you enter our sites, also providing disinfectant products for the operators and drivers to clean their equipment pre and post their shifts.
“It also included signage at all entry points to let people know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and managers conducted temperature checks and pre-screening as well.”
With many of SCE’s people and services also working on client sites this required adherence to strict protocols.
“Some of our major clients provided us with insights into what we needed to do, and we’ve embraced their systems when we rolled them out to other departments in our organisation, where relevant.
“We’ve worked hard to keep that high standard right across all our sites from transport, recycling, and steel making.”
Business as usual
One of the biggest challenge’s SCE Group faced was delivering business as usual while limiting the number of people on site. Every person attending the work site had to adjust to the new normal. Plant and equipment operators were conducting daily cleans and the finance team were set up to work from home.
“The IT department were very busy resourcing extra laptops and devices and setting people up to work remotely so only a certain number of people are in the office at the same time.
The new normal
While lockdown measures have eased recently, Geoff believes the new controls will have a lasting impact on the way SCE does business.
“There’ll probably be some subtle changes, I think hygiene and cleanliness will be more at the front of people’s minds now.
“From a business sense, I think it’s opened our eyes up to how we can operate even smarter. For example, we are using videoconferencing to have fruitful and concise meetings with people and therefore minimising transport and face to face meetings.
“I think from our point of view SCE has embraced technology over the last couple of months. It’s helped us to develop relationships and be more proactive. Hopefully, that’ll continue in the future as well.”