Tuesday 10th March 2020
As a one of the UK’s leading analytical testing laboratories employing around 800 staff across 8 sites, ALS is putting additional precautionary measures in place to ensure that we are playing our part in helping to contain the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and to ensure that we can maintain a high quality testing service to all of our clients.
We have reviewed government advice and have adopted a three-stage approach to our planning which can be summarised as ‘Prevention, Restriction, and Continuity’.
In order to prevent ALS staff being exposed to the risk of infection by Corona Virus / Covid 19, ALS Global has taken the decision to stop all non-essential international travel and implemented an absolute restriction on travel to areas with significant levels of infection.
In addition, we have requested that staff notify their managers of any personal travel arrangements, particularly if this means travelling to areas with an elevated risk of infection.
We have provided our staff with information regarding the actions to take to avoid infection such as handwashing etc and have reviewed our internal cleaning and housekeeping processes to reduce the risk of person to person infection within our laboratories.
Where appropriate, we are now restricting staff travel to business meetings and are requesting that visits to ALS sites also be conducted via skype or telephone wherever possible.
In order to reduce the spread of the virus within our business we have provided our staff with information to allow them to spot the early signs of infection by Corona Virus / Covid 19 and have requested that if there is any reasonable reason to believe that they have contracted the disease or have been exposed to an infected person, that they seek medical advice and self-isolate from the work environment until they do not present any risk of infection to their colleagues.
We have reviewed our absence from work polices and taken steps to enable, so far as possible, people to take the option of working from home or adopting alternative working arrangements to facilitate this.
While we are not experiencing any significant problems as yet, we are in the process of developing continuity plans for our laboratories in the event that we have significant level of staff absent from work either though illness and the need to self-isolate, or due to the need to care for dependents in the event of school closures etc.
We have undertaken a risk assessment for all of our laboratories and are developing plans for these most at risk of continuity problems should widespread Corona Virus / Covid 19 infections occur. Following the recent fire at our Rotherham laboratory on January 1st, we demonstrated that we could successfully transfer testing and staff to our other sites in the ALS group. Should we find ourselves in the extreme situation of having a complete site shut down because of Coronavirus, we would be confident of executing a similar plan.
In addition we are working with our key suppliers to ensure that they are also developing continuity plans for this eventuality.
Please be assured that our sample collection service will continue as normal for the foreseeable future. Our drivers are well trained and fully conversant with the need to comply with client-specific HSE rules when collecting samples from sites and already carry hand sanitizers with them. A number of our clients have already issued new guidelines in a bid to control the spread of Coronavirus and our drivers have been made aware of these.
We appreciate that the situation is developing rapidly and consequently we will keep our plans under constant review. We will post further updates on this website should plans change in the future.
I hope that this provides you with some reassurance that ALS is taking the necessary steps to ensure continuity of service. However, if you require any further information please contact either your Account Manager or our Client Service team on 01354 697028 or via e-mail at [email protected]