The COVID-19 pandemic has defined the year 2020 so far. And while we hope the worst is over, it’s likely that we’ll all have to do things a little differently for some time to come. Here is how we are changing our operations to focus on safety and hygiene during these very unusual times.
Like most responsible movers, we stopped operations during the “lockdown” period, only re-starting again once the government recommended we do so on 11th May. During this period most of our UK staff were furloughed, but we kept our office and warehouse open with only our General Manager on site.
Now that we’re back up and running again, this is how we’re managing things:
All staff in our office, warehouse and on removals (both UK and abroad) will have daily temperature checks at the start of the day. Anyone with a fever will be sent home.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or anyone who has been in contact with any person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, must self-isolate until they are able to be tested. Access to testing is improving, and we believe that soon we will be in a position where anyone fitting these criteria can be tested very quickly. Once a negative test result has been confirmed, the person can come back to work.
Our staff will be using PPE including masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and in some cases visors on all removals.
Our removal operatives will stay 2m away from each other, and from our customers, at all times where this is possible. We will request that our customers make plans for there to only be one person from the family on site on removal day (for both collection and delivery), and that pets be outside. We also ask that this person wears a mask and endeavours to keep a distance of 2m from our staff too.
We will ask our customers to (where possible) pack everything themselves other than glassware, china, antiques and breakable items, which our team will pack because they require specialist skills. For overseas removals where export wrapping of furniture is required, our team will do this too, although if customers prefer to do this themselves we will welcome this and advise them how to do it. For short-distance UK removals where blanket wrapping is the preferred method, we will do this.
Government recommendations are for people moving home to give their home a “deep clean”, including all surfaces, immediately before moving day. If our customers can make the time to do this it would be enormously appreciated.
Our team will bring their own tea, coffee and refreshments, including their own mugs. We simply ask that a kettle be available, as well as facilities to wash.
In our removal trucks and vans, we will have a maximum of two people in the vehicle at once, travelling with the windows open where possible. Stops will be kept to a minimum and PPE will be used at service stations.
We receive deliveries to our warehouse frequently, so we have made changes to our processes here too.
When a driver arrives at our site he will speak to us through the window of our ground floor office, rather than coming into our office. We will not physically sign documentation (including tablets). The driver or delivery team will have space set aside for them at ground level where they can unload, and once they have departed our team will inspect the goods and securely store them.
Customers sometimes visit us in person too, and in these cases we will come outside (or into the warehouse space if it is raining,) to speak to our customers, where we can safely maintain 2m distance. If a customer needs us to unload an item/s from their car, we will do so while insisting on maintaining 2m distance. In practice this simply means asking our customers not to help us, but simply staying a safe distance away.
We will only have one vehicle delivering or collecting at a time, so we will be operating a queuing system (which will only be needed occasionally) where drivers are to remain with their vehicles until it is there turn to come in and load or unload.
Our staff will be washing their hands much more frequently than before the coronavirus pandemic. We expect most people are doing the same. But please don’t be offended if someone on our team washes their hands after handling some boxes you have delivered to us, or after touching your car seat while unloading something for you. They aren’t germophobic and they are not suggesting that you or your possessions are in any way unclean, it is just good practice during the pandemic.
We will be gradually bringing staff back from “furlough” in the UK. While some staff will continue to work from home, some of the time, we will return to having more than one staff member in the office. Managing this requires alertness from all staff members regarding the need to keep a safe distance from each other, and not to have numerous people in the same space at the same time.
Cleaning is more important now than ever. Our staff will be regularly cleaning their work spaces (including office, warehouse and the interior of trucks and vans). Surfaces will be wiped down very frequently – more than once per day in the case of “high traffic” desks, for example. The interior surfaces of each truck and van will be wiped down at the end of each day, in addition to the normal regular cleaning.
The above measures are not an exhaustive list. We will do whatever is required to ensure the health & safety of our team and our customers.
Removals is thankfully not a high risk profession in regard to the spreading of a virus like SARS-COV-2. We do not come into contact with nearly as many people as retail workers, for example, so it is feasible for us to do our jobs very safely. We are thankful to our customers for understanding the extra lengths we are going to during this time, and for supporting us in our efforts to provide high quality services while maintaining high standards of health & safety.