This is transport operators Avon Coaches (Essex) Ltd back to work detailed plan regarding the implementation of procedures and measures, providing a safer environment for employers, employees and passengers due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We will provide a copy of the company procedure to employees; this can be provided to customers and passengers on request. This should be read and a signature or record of receipt i.e. emails stating they have received and understood the guidelines. We will continue to monitor the Coronavirus (Covid-19): Safer Transport Guidance for Operators and regularly assess and update any changes necessary. We will consult with members of staff to evoke confidence into returning to the work place. This is a company guideline and any of the procedures/measures mentioned are subject to change from the date of issue, dependant on health and safety and government policy’s.
In order to address the risk of Covid-19 and limit the spread of the disease we will implement the following safety measures to our office. On arrival, to avoid contact with high contamination surfaces, our door will be propped open and windows will be open to increase ventilation. In the event of the door and windows being closed during operational hours, due to weather or unforeseen circumstances, to coincide with this we will implement an anti-bacterial cleaning schedule for high contact areas. This will be carried out twice daily or more if required. If there is any unauthorised contact of surfaces, due to the Coronavirus, office opening will vary and the cleaning schedule may not reflect this. The schedule will be displayed in the office, instructing the cleaning of door handles(inside and out), door frames, telephones, card machines, computer keyboards, pens and vehicle keys, work stations, kitchen surfaces, equipment and utensils, toilet, sink and taps, soap/sanitiser dispensers, light switches and chair arm rests. This sanitisation is in addition to cleaning protocols currently in place.
Due to the size of our office, social distance markings will be located outside the entrance and office floor space. Social distance signs will be positioned in the entrance window of the building and information on how to reduce contamination of the virus. We will communicate to staff and members of the public that they adhere to signs displayed and current government guidelines to contain the virus. We will advise staff and customers to avoid touching their faces and wash their hands regularly. Our office space only allows for one person inside the marked area, if someone is occupying the marked space visitors and staff will be instructed by signs or verbally to wait outside, where indicated and safe to do so. Our company shares its premises and when on site we suggest visitors comply with the distancing and safety measures during their visit. Masks/face coverings are now mandatory within small office spaces; this is dependent on changing government guidelines and/or stipulations.
Signs will be displayed on the entrance door and window advising you to use the hand sanitiser provided when you enter the building. The hand sanitiser (70% Alcohol) will be located on the wall to the left and clearly marked. A sign advising customers and the general public to refrain from consuming food, drink and chewing gum on the premises will be displayed on the window and made visible inside the office. Food and drink consumed by staff is disposed of safely and surfaces disinfected. Signs illustrating the government guidelines for hand washing and sanitising will be displayed above sinks and we would advise washing hands before coming into contact with surfaces. Hand wash will be provided in the kitchen and office toilet areas, signs advising you to wash your hands will be displayed above the sink. Paper towel is available and to be disposed of in the bin provided.
For the safety of our drivers, customers and general public, a temperature check, using Non-Contact Forehead IR Thermometer, will be taken before the start of a drivers shift. We will communicate with staff that they monitor their temperature and general well-being before returning to work or agreeing to work. Temperature check signs will be displayed in the office and staff toilet. This will primarily be for employees; we would recommend drivers arriving for their shift take or have their temperature checked before starting work, which can be logged by the driver or other member of staff. A temperature record form will be made available in both areas and the Non-Contact Forehead IR Thermometer will be located in the key safe outside office hours. In the event a member of staff or public display symptoms of Coronavirus they would be advised to seek current medical and government advice and asked to self-isolate. Any surfaces touched during this time would be sanitised adhering to the cleaning schedule.
To maintain ventilation, the staff and customer toilet will be propped open when not in use. Social distancing and Covid-19 Government Advice signs will be on display. A cleaning schedule will be displayed and signed when high contact areas have been disinfected twice a day or more if needed. These areas are; sink, taps, toilet, light switches, door handles (inside and out) and frames, soap/sanitiser dispensers, and paper towel dispenser, the key safe and shelving unit. Sanitiser and paper towel are available should visitors wish to clean areas before use.
In the event of the door being closed a sign advising you to use hand sanitizer after you enter will be displayed. Hand sanitiser will be provided and this will be clearly marked by a sign. Please Wash Your Hands and Government Guideline for hand washing/sanitising will be displayed above the sink; paper towel and a waste bin are provided. Social Distancing and Please Wait signs will be on display to implement safe distancing.
Our staff will receive notification of the Covid-19 measures and procedures put into place via email, together with information on Coronavirus symptoms and the governments track and trace procedure. We will advise these are read before returning to work. Social distancing and hygiene measures stipulated above should be adhered to before entering the office. Signs will be displayed to communicate these procedures and we will advise no staff member should return if they are unwell or have come into contact with someone who has Coronavirus.
If a member of staff shows symptoms of the Coronavirus during work they will be advised to seek medical advice and follow current government guidelines. In the unfortunate event of an infected member of staff coming into contact with a customer we will inform them and other members of the party via email and or phone. Vice versa if we are notified by a customer and they have been in contact with a person or they themselves have been diagnosed, we will inform our drivers and advise they contact people they have been in close proximity to and seek medical and government advice. Customers will be provided with a form and asked to complete this and return it before travel.
If any staff members have been absent from work and return to work, a back to work interview will be conducted (implementing social distancing rules) and ensure the government self-isolation procedures have been adhered to and that symptoms are fully recovered from.
As a company we are aware social distancing measures are not always possible, to tackle this, we plan to implement staggered starting times for our staff, to reduce the number of people they come into contact with and hopefully reducing the transfer of the virus. To protect our drivers and in turn the public, we plan to issue employees re-usable face masks and supply disposable masks in the event the mask supplied could be misplaced, damaged or lost. Masks will also be made available to customers, if available, who have failed to supply their own; there may be a surcharge to customers for supplying these. Spare masks will be stored on the vehicles and made available if possible.
Signs will be displayed on all vehicles advising passengers to wear a face mask and drivers will be instructed to ask passengers to remove all personal possessions and PPE when disembarking the vehicle. The company vehicles will have waste receptacles for employees allowing the disposal of any left behind PPE and used cleaning materials. This task should be carried out using disposable gloves and a mask; waste should be removed and disposed of at the end of a shift, vehicle change over, avoiding unnecessary contact to other members of staff.
Customers will be notified of the company’s policy which will be made available on the company website or upon request. Customers will be notified of our new passenger guidelines when enquiring, a detailed copy will be supplied to them which needs to be agreed and signed before travel, an email read receipt is sufficient. The policy includes and is not limited to; mandatory face masks/coverings, use of sanitiser, no food, drink or chewing gum and refused boarding if measures and procedures are not met. A copy of the passenger Coronavirus procedure can be provided upon request. Signs will be displayed in all vehicles in regards to the aforementioned. Card and bank payments are preferred and full payment should be made before travel, however if it is a cash payment this should be provided in an open envelope and handed to the driver. Our drivers will have a copy of the company and passenger policy for total clarity and avoidance of miscommunication, our aim is to engage, explain and encourage.
In the eventuality a driver or passenger are unable to wear a mask due to medical or government stipulations other safety measures will coincide (current government stipulations regarding the wearing of masks will be provided to our drivers and can be provided to our customers upon request) these are; passengers and drivers to maintain a safe distance when communicating, drivers will enter/exit the vehicle from the driver’s door limiting customer contact, use of hand sanitiser and windows to remain open, if applicable, to increase ventilation.
Our drivers will have access to essential cleaning materials; these are anti-bacterial wipes, cleaning cloths, paper towel, disinfectant spray, disposable gloves and waste bags. The items will be stored on the vehicle in a clear, secure plastic container, labelling its contents. A laminated copy of instructions will be located in the box indicating the high contact points to be sanitised. We recommend disposable gloves and masks are worn when carrying out these tasks and hands should be washed thoroughly if possible or hand sanitiser used when tasks are completed. Areas of concern are and not limited to; door handles (internal and external) and frames, steering wheel (including fingertip grip), dashboard and infotainment controls, glove box, heating/cooling controls, air vent grips, rear view mirror, seat belts, seat belt adjusters and buckles, gear stick, full length of the indicator and windscreen wiper stalks, driver and passenger head restraints, arm rests and handrails, keys including the handle, metal and the ignition itself.
Vehicles will be cleaned before, during and after a shift or vehicle change over. Drivers will be instructed to inspect and clean the vehicle before continuing onto the next hire, disposing of any waste and paying particular attention to high contact areas stated above and refilling hand sanitiser when needed. We will advise drivers to disinfect hands regularly before entering and after leaving the vehicle and before and after completing the required cleaning procedures. At the end of a shift and/or in the event of contamination the vehicle will have a fogging disinfectant treatment.
Due to the number of passengers transported we understand social distancing is not always possible in larger groups. Information will be provided to customers within our terms and conditions and signs will be displayed on the vehicles, requesting customers abide by the social distancing guidance and safety measures in place. Passengers should be mindful of other passengers, the driver and the general public when waiting, boarding and alighting a vehicle.
Drivers will be advised to wear facial masks/coverings when communicating with passengers. Customers should sanitise any luggage before travelling and will be advised to place this to the rear of the vehicle, maintaining a social distance, where the driver will load and unload the luggage; drivers are advised to sanitise hands after carrying out these tasks.
Drivers will be instructed to advise passengers to board from the back to the front of the vehicle to avoid unnecessary contact. We would advise those traveling together to sit within their ‘Bubble’ group (if applicable) where possible and try to maintain a social distance with other members of the group. Loud talking, singing and shouting should be avoided. When possible the vehicle will be ventilated regularly, weather permitting and the use of heating and air conditioning should be avoided unless deemed safe to do so.
Passengers will be asked to wait patiently and remain seated until the driver instructs them to disembark the vehicle leading from the front first while trying to adhere to social distancing measures; this will avoid blocking the aisle or being in close proximity of other passengers. With the new safety measures put in place we will communicate to drivers to abide by the current equality and discrimination laws and assist passengers to the best of their ability, mindful of social distancing.
In regards to our public service contracts, passengers will be informed by the company of the safety measures in place and are asked to socially distance when waiting for the vehicle. Signs will be clearly visible asking passengers to be patient and wait for the drivers’ instruction. Masks are to be worn on the vehicle and hand sanitiser used when boarding and alighting; signs will be clearly displayed advising the use of masks, hand sanitiser and government guidelines on how to stop the spread of Covid-19.
We will advise passengers using our bus service to ensure their membership cards are sanitised as they may be handed to the driver if a manual recording of their number needs to be taken. Drivers will need to sanitise the equipment used; scanner, iPad, clipboard and pen, before/after use using the anti-bacterial wipes provided.
Due to the nature of the timetable service it will not be practical for drivers to stop and sanitise the vehicle during the service. We may make it a requirement for passengers to sanitise their hands and provide and wear their own disposable gloves. If the safety procedures are not adhered to and a staff member feel threatened a discretionary measure will be in place for the driver to refuse to board a passenger or continue the journey. These will include and are not restricted to; being deliberately coughed on, spat at or touched or social distancing measures are ignored.
To reduce the risk of Coronavirus all job sheet paperwork will be provided to the drivers electronically. In the event this is not possible, colour coded plastic folders will be provided with the necessary paperwork. These folders will be sanitised and left for the drivers to collect in the designated area. If drivers wish to clean the folder themselves, sanitiser, paper towel and waste bin will be provided. Before touching any surfaces we will advise our drivers to wash their hands and follow the government guidance for hand washing, signs will be provided in the vicinity.
Areas prone to high contact within the work environment are; vehicle keys, vehicle cleaning and maintenance containers and supplies, petrol caps and pumps. Drivers will be supplied with anti-bacterial wipes and disposable gloves to carry out tasks, we would advise our drivers via signs to wash and sanitise their hands before and after coming into contact with these areas.
Our main priority for our employees and passengers is a limited transference of the virus and confidence in the sufficient safety measures and procedures put in place. A copy of our Covid-19 company plan will be provided to employees and customers can view it on our website or a copy can be provided upon request. We intend to update and enforce these procedures when necessary and inform our staff and customers of the changes. Avon Coaches (Essex) Ltd has followed government guidelines using Safer Transport Guidance for Operators and gathered the opinions of our employees. This is a company guideline and subject to amendments from the date stated.