As UK construction activity accelerates, we have been working hard to adapt to the new health and safety risks presented as a result of Coronavirus (Covid-19). As lockdown restriction eases, enhanced hygiene measures, social distancing, dramatically altered welfare facilities and changed operational routines are all being implemented to ensure our workforce, customers and clients remain as safe as possible from infection.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), with input from industry bodies, unions and businesses recently published 8 “Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19)” guidance documents aimed at helping employers and employees to work safely during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Covid-19 has transformed our working practices but has not prevented us from continuing to deliver our products and services to our customers and clients while working to the highest safety standards. In an ever-changing safety landscape, we are regularly reviewing our emergency protocols and provide the following Covid-19 operational update:
On-Site Quality Assurance (QA) Inspections
In order to protect our dedicated QA team, customers and clients from the risks of infection and propagating infection within the wider construction community, all on-site face-to-face quality audit inspections were immediately halted when Covid-19 restrictions were first announced, and construction activity reduced.
Nonetheless, we have remained fully operational throughout communicating with construction sites, skilled operatives and accredited contractors by video conference and successfully completing quality audits virtually. This virtual operational method will continue where deemed appropriate to do so in compliance with the latest Government guidance and site-specific regulation. Click here for further details.
Still, it is now recognised that since publication of the Government’s “Working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19) in construction and other outdoor work” guidance, construction sites have adapted their operations to this new safety hazard and provided Covid-Secure standards are in place and on the day risk assessment by Axter QA Management does not identify a risk, on-site face-to-face quality audit inspections will resume with immediate effect.
Further guidance concerning Axter Ltd Quality Assurance (QA) Department – Covid-Secure Standards can be downloaded here.
Face-To-Face Technical Sales Meetings
In accordance with Government guidance, face-to-face meetings will continue to be conducted remotely where practical to do so. Axter Ltd will continue to practice flexible working solutions such as home working and maintains our commitment to lessening workforce exposure to infection by reducing the need to travel for work and the use of video conferencing.
However, it is understood that as construction activity accelerates it may not be practical to always complete technical sales meetings remotely. Thus, where deemed appropriate and following completion of a Covid-19 risk assessment by the Technical Sales Manager, face to face technical sales meetings are to resume with immediate effect provided the meeting venue is operating in accordance with Axter Ltd Covid-Secure Standards.
Further guidance concerning Axter Ltd Technical Sales Department – Covid-Secure Standards can be downloaded here.
Administration and Office Support
In line with UK Government guidance our Ipswich office remains temporarily closed. Our administration and all office-based customer support functions continue to operate remotely, with all office employees working from home.
Our premises are currently undergoing Covid-Secure risk assessment and will reopen as soon as practicable, once our employees’ safety from Covid-19 infection and spread of infection can be safeguarded.
To support our clients, all Axter’s departmental contact emails remain fully operational and for the time being we continue to request that all communication is made via email, directly to the department or individual in question. Should you require to speak to a member of Axter’s team or if your call is urgent please request an immediate call back by email and a member of the team will respond.
Finance Department Operations
All operations have been transferred to remote working protocols. Therefore, we are temporarily unable to receive payment for goods by cheque and request our customers complete payments using online banking procedures and pay all due invoices by BACS or CHAPS electronic payment methods. During this difficult time, we also recognise our customers will require supplier support more than ever and we remain committed to providing this. Please contact [email protected] if you require any assistance.
We are experiencing no production disruption and no loading, shipping or delivery delays as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our factories have undeniably experienced and thankfully overcome significant operational difficulties over recent weeks. Nevertheless, our production facilities remain operational at high efficiency levels, with enhanced hygiene procedures implemented and Covid-Secure standards being executed to good effect. Our raw material supply chains remain fully intact and we will continue to increase production volumes where necessary to support our UK and global projects.
Warehouse Stock Levels
In accordance with our Covid-19 crisis management strategy stock levels at our UK and European warehouses have been significantly increased and will be maintained indefinitely to ensure ample stock is available to service our customer base as construction activity accelerates and projects restart simultaneously.
All Axter facilities are operating under Covid-secure standards to protect our workforce and supply chain partners. As a result, access to warehouse is restricted to employees and strict hygiene and social distancing measures are in place. Further guidance concerning Axter Ltd Logistics & Delivery – Covid-Secure Procedures
can be downloaded here.
Logistics and Delivery
Our logistic and delivery network continues to function as normal and our haulage network partners are currently reporting and experiencing no delivery delays as a result of Covid-19.
Covid-Secure procedures have been implemented across our network in strict compliance with UK Government and RHA guidelines, resulting in behavioural and procedural changes being made when Axter materials are transported and delivered to our customers. Such changes will not cause delay to distribution or impact upon delivery costs and have simply been implemented to maintain workforce and customer safety.
Further guidance concerning Axter Ltd Logistics & Delivery – Covid-Secure Procedures can be downloaded here.
We are clearly living through very challenging times, nevertheless the actions we are taking within our business represent a measured, responsible reply to the government’s most recent guidance.
Please check our website for regular updates on how the pandemic is changing our approach and what measures continue to be put in place to protect public health and minimise customer and client disruption.
To contact Axter, please visit the Contact Page on our website where the email addresses of all our employees are provided. If you wish to speak directly with someone within a department, please send them an email request with your name and contact details and they will call you back as swiftly as possible within our normal response times.
I trust this information meets with your approval and I thank you for your continued support.
Phillip Wilcox-Moore FIoR, Managing Director