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Over last weekend, updates of the UK Government’s advisory measures to help reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus, started to come in thick and fast. Amongst them were instructions that all businesses should be keeping their employees advised of what plans the management had in place, or what their intended plans were, regarding running the business in tandem with the virus threats and consequential government advice, guidance and legal restrictions.  Employers also need to find out from employees their personal circumstances and if they will not be able to come into work, etc, etc.

The guidance also advised contacting customers and stakeholders to update them as best as possible.

Social distancing guidance for everyone with additional advice about protecting older people and vulnerable adults also arrived and similar stuff has been arriving every few hours ever since.

Management needed to take some of the advice on board immediately and so, on Tuesday, every employee was interviewed, to advise them that the current intention of the Solar Solve management is to continue for as long as we are allowed and to ascertain from the employee if they were happy to come into work, as long as they do not have to self-isolate under the rules set by the Government.

The outcome was very positive.  Everyone wants to come to work if they are able, because our factory and offices are really large and easily allows workers to keep 2 metres apart when working.  We always keep at least 6 months of stock in the factory, so that won’t be a problem for the next 6 months at least, which means we are all set to keep trading and to have orders made and boxed, ready for dispatch as usual.

We do rely on carriers of course and for many orders that includes aeroplanes, which is outside of our control but presently all our carriers are operational and working as normal or near normal.

One of our first actions was to post a banner at the top of every page of the company’s website explaining Solar Solve Management’s objectives regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 for everyone to see.  It can be accessed from this LINK.

Whilst all this meeting and discussing and planning around COVID-19 was going on we had arranged for our biennial Staff Fire Training to take place.  Every two years Hugh Hutton, our Fire Safety Advisor comes along with all sorts of fire safety signs, fire extinguishers, leaflets and his practical fire-fighting kit, so that we can all actually ‘fight’ some fires (see photo).  I’ve been to lots of them in my time and when I was a Marine Engineer I was responsible for the maintenance of the ship’s extinguishers for a couple of years and knew everything there was to know about them……,  at that time.  Like everything, they have changed significantly over the years but even over just the last few years, changes have been made and we all learn a bit more about this very important Health and Safety subject every time Hugh comes to train us.

Luckily we were not overstretched with enquiries, RFQ’s or producing orders on Tuesday, so that was a blessing but it was quite a day.  It certainly made us realise the enormity of the COVID-19 problem and potential threat.

JHL MBE SSL Co. Chairman