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Mitigating the impact of coronavirus

13th March 2020

Understandably, there is now significant concern around coronavirus (COVID-19). It’s not just the health concerns that have everyone worried, but its impact on normal business operations.

PDMA is taking this issue extremely seriously, treating it as a significant potential business continuity scenario. We want to confirm to all our clients that we are resilient and our business continuity solutions are effective and proportionate.

Nobody is really sure what will happen in the next few days, let alone the coming weeks, so we are initiating our business continuity plan to ensure we can continue to deliver services to our clients, most of which are involved in civil engineering projects that are difficult to suspend indefinitely.

Whilst in the office, we are following Government best practice and advising all our people to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly use the hand sanitisers provided, whilst providing regular updates about what are the next steps in this escalating crisis.

Working from home safely and securely

One contingency we have implemented is the ability for all our people to work from home. This is not just the ability to send and receive the odd email, but a fully functioning home office, with connectivity to the server in the office and the rest of the PDMA team.

We now have the ability to work from home, whilst collaborating effectively as a team to provide full design, check, drawing and review facilities for all temporary and permanent works projects.

Thanks to our Cyber Essentials certification, working from home will not increase the security risk to our business or our clients; we know what we’re doing and have robust systems in place to protect data and avoid problems from cyber criminals.

Until such time as we need to shut the office or a member of our time needs to self-isolate, these are some of the steps we have undertaken to mitigate the risk to our business:

  • Ensure we have current contact details for everyone
  • Ensure we all understand the symptoms of the virus and what to look for
  • Share information on sick leave, sick pay and the procedures to follow if someone falls ill
  • Ensure thorough washing of hands is possible for everyone, including hot water and soap
  • Dispense hand sanitisers and tissues in the office

We are confident that if every business takes the advice from Government and Public Health England, following the steps outlined, we can all get through this crisis and the economy will recover.