Enhanced 1st Aid requirements

1. Additional 1st Aid Guidance

This guidance is for first responders and others who may have close contact with symptomatic people with potential COVID-19. This includes Security Officers and others who, as part of their normal roles, provide immediate assistance to a symptomatic person until further medical assistance arrives.

2. How COVID-19 is spread

From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres or less) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person, which may certainly be the case when administering 1st Aid/assisting a casualty.

Respiratory secretions (droplets) containing the virus are likely to be the most important means of transmission; these are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
There are 2 routes people could become infected:

  1. Secretions can be directly transferred into the mouths or noses of people who are nearby (within 2m) or possibly could be inhaled into the lungs.
  2. It is possible that someone may become infected by touching a person, a surface or object that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as shaking hands or touching door knobs then touching own face).

3. What to do if you are required to assist someone who is symptomatic and suspected of having COVID-19

3.1 Providing assistance:

If you need to provide assistance to an individual who is symptomatic and may have COVID-19, wherever possible, place the person in an area away from others. If there is no physically separate room, ask others who are not involved in providing assistance to stay at least 2 metres away from the individual. If barriers or screens are available, these should be used.

3.2 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Use and dispose of all PPE according to the instructions and training previously provided by your 1st Aid training organisation. Disposable gloves and fluid repellent surgical face mask is recommended and, if available, disposable plastic apron and disposable eye protection (such as face visor or goggles) should be worn. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before putting on and after taking off PPE.

3.3 Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

If you are required to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), you should conduct a risk assessment (this would be a “dynamic risk assessment”) and adopt appropriate precautions for infection control.through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors) but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned in the usual way. However, all surfaces that the symptomatic individual has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected.

Where possible, it is recommended that you do not perform rescue breaths or mouth-to-mouth ventilation; perform chest compressions only. Resuscitation Council (UK) Guidelines 2015 for Basic Life Support state that studies have shown that compression-only CPR may be as effective as combined ventilation and compression in the first few minutes after non-asphyxia arrest (cardiac arrest due to lack of oxygen).

If a decision is made to perform mouth-to-mouth ventilation in asphyxia arrest, use a resuscitation face shield where available.

Should you have given mouth-to-mouth ventilation there are no additional actions to be taken other than to monitor yourself for symptoms of possible COVID-19 over the following 14 days. Should you develop such symptoms you should follow the advice on what to do on the NHS website.

4. Hand hygiene

After contact with the individual, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol hand rub at the earliest opportunity.

Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and/or nose, unless you have recently cleaned your hands after having contact with the individual.

There are no additional precautions to be taken in relation to cleaning your clothing/uniform other than what is usual practice.

5. Cleaning the area where assistance was provided

Cleaning will depend on where assistance was provided. It should follow the advice for cleaning in non-healthcare settings. Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed

6. If there has been a blood or body-fluid spill

Keep people away from the area. Use a spill-kit if available, using the PPE in the kit or PPE provided by your employer/organisation and following the instructions provided with the spill-kit. If no spill-kit is available, place paper towels/roll onto the spill, and seek further advice from emergency services when they arrive.

7. Contacts of the unwell person

If anyone had direct contact with the individual and makes themselves known to you, advise them that if they go on to develop symptoms (cough, fever), they should follow the advice on what to do on the NHS website.

8. What to do if you become unwell following contact with someone who may be at risk of COVID-19

If you have already been given specific advice from your employer or Public Health England (PHE) about who to call if you become unwell, follow that advice.

Otherwise, if you develop symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, you will need to stay at home for 7 days – refer to the advice on the NHS website and the Stay at home guidance.

Nick Gilroy
Quality & Compliance Manager

 

Coronavirus COVID-19 FAQS

This document is not a policy but gives advice on a number of frequently-asked-questions in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak. However, due to the changing nature of the ongoing situation the advice we share concerning Coronavirus and other related to health hygiene matters may change. Please check regularly the Safety Bulletins tab on our Colleagues’ Portal for any updates related to this matter.

If you have any other questions that are not answered below or on the portal, please raise them with your line manager or our HR Department on hrdepartment@corpssecurity.co.uk

Please ensure you update your telephone and email contact details as well as your next of kin details with your line manager or HR Department.

Where can I get information about COVID-19?

The Safety Bulletins tab on our Colleague Portal.

There is also lots of information available online: the World Health Organisation, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Public Health England (PHE), NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care.

What are the most common symptoms of COVID – 19?

The most common symptoms of coronavirus are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough (this means you have started coughing repeatedly) and/or
  • high temperature (you feel hot to touch on your chest or back).

For more information go to NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus?

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading, this includes social distancing. People from the below group in particularly have been advised by the government to take into consideration social distancing measures like self-isolation and avoiding public places.

  • aged 70 or over (regardless of medical conditions)
  • those who are pregnant;
  • those with an underlying health condition (*more information in COVID-19 FAQ Appendix document)

What is social distancing?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people, which will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). More information can be found in COVID-19 FAQ Appendix document.

What shall I do if I have symptoms of coronavirus illness?

If you live alone, you should stay at home, self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 if you have mild symptoms of the virus.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service (https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/) if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home;
  • your condition gets worse;
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days.

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online and 999 in emergency.

What shall I do if I live with others or other members of my household have symptoms of coronavirus?

All household members must stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days. The 14 day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

What should I do if I or another member from the same household has a confirmed case of COVID-19?

You must self-isolate for at least 14 days.

If I self-isolate or if I have a confirmed case of COVID-19 will I get paid?

If you self-isolate then you will be entitled to statutory sick pay (subject to normal qualifying criteria) from day one as per the current government guideline for up to 14 days.

If you are confirmed as having coronavirus and are taken into quarantine, you will be classified as being on sick leave. Your usual statutory and contractual pay entitlement for sickness absence will apply.

What should I do if I notice someone displaying the symptoms of COVID-19 in the workplace?

If a colleague is unwell and is displaying symptoms of coronavirus, you should keep a distance of at least 6 feet and suggest they go home and contact their manager or scheduler asap. They should always follow the company’s normal absence notification procedures.

What happens if I decide I am just not coming into work as I do not want to risk catching COVID-19?

If your absence is not authorised by the line manager, you are not showing symptoms of COVID – 19 or you are not self-isolating because a member of your household has a confirmed case of coronavirus, your absence from work may be treated as unauthorised and you could be dealt with under the appropriate Company policy.

However, as per the current government guidelines if you are over 70, or you are pregnant or have an underlining medical condition which weakened your immune system, until further guidelines from the government, your absence from work will be treated as authorised and you may be entitled to Statuary Sick Pay (subject to normal qualifying criteria). You must still follow the company’s normal absence reporting procedures.

Do I need to provide medical evidence if I am self-isolating because myself or another member of my household are showing symptoms of coronavirus or I had close contact with another person in the past 7 days who has a confirmed case of coronavirus?

Medical evidence is not required for first 7 days of authorised absence or sickness absence and you can self-certify yourself using the appropriate form. After 7 days, please contact your line manager for further advice if you are unable to obtain a medical certificate.

To make it easier for employees to provide evidence to their employer, NHS are developing an alternative form of evidence to the fit note. NHS confirmed that these will shortly be available through NHS online. We will update you once this form has been developed and is available.

Would I be entitled to any pay from the Company if I have to self-isolate and I do not meet the required by law criteria (e.i. you must earn an average of at least £118 per week, for more details go to https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay/eligibility) to receive SSP?

If your line manager and/or our payroll department confirm that you are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, you may apply for:

or

My child’s school has been closed until further notice and I need to stay at home to look after them. Can I have the time off and will I still get paid?

If you cannot attend work due to family care issues, this will be treated as dependant leave and will be dealt with in line with your contractual terms or our Time Off for Dependant policy. Such absence will be deemed as authorised but will be unpaid. Please ensure you follow the Company’s normal absence reporting procedures.

What is Corps Security doing for our wellbeing and safety?

Senior managers are closely monitoring the situation and have the ability to both ask for and receive additional guidance and support from our Health and Safety Advisor and various external expert bodies. We have an established Business Continuity Plan which takes into account this type of situation with recovery plans in place

We continue to follow and provide hygiene advice in line with PHE and NHS guidance and provide any updates on the Safety Bulletins tab on the Colleague Portal.

We would also like to remind all our colleagues to access our free Employee Assistance Programme who can provide advice on various life issues and problems. More details are on the Colleague Portal on the EAP tab.

Can the Company reduce and/or change my hours of work and/or work location at short notice?

During this unprecedented time all colleagues must be prepared to work flexibly and co-operate in ensuring that we overcome this very challenging period. Many of our clients will be looking to reduce their costs as their own markets decline and their need for security services may be affected. We will do all we reasonably can to mitigate

Which medical conditions may be classified as underlying health conditions?

As per the recent government advice, the examples below are of underlying health conditions:

  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)

From next week NHS will be contacting anyone who are at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and will be providing specific advice about what to do.

What shall I do to protect myself and my loved once from contracting COVID-19?

DO!

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • drink water to keep yourself hydrated
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
  • only travel on public transport if you need to
  • work from home, if you can
  • avoid social activities, such as going to pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas
  • avoid events with large groups of people
  • use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services

DON’T!!!

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family if you have symptoms or confirmed case of coronavirus in your household

What are the main rules of social distancing?

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  • Work from home, where possible.
  • Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic. For those who are over 70, have an underlying health condition or are pregnant, we strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can, and if possible significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family.

This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.

COVID-19 and IT Security Flexible Working

Mimecast CISO Mark O’Hare has provided the following tips on what you can do to make you, your colleagues & your families safer online during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Key points:

  • COVID-19 is being used as a phishing lure by cybercriminals & nation states
  • Expect to see an increase in exploits related to COVID-19 as publicity around the virus increases
  • Cybercriminals are using trusted brands, like World Health Organization (WHO) & U.S. Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), to build credibility & entice users into opening attachments

What can you do?

  • Don’t click on any COVID-19 related links or attachments you receive via email or messaging apps. This includes messages to personal email providers like Gmail
  • Don’t be fooled by legitimate-looking branding on messages you receive, there are good fakes doing the rounds. Cybercriminals will also often use language that conveys a sense of urgency, so be alert
  • If you want COVID-19 news, navigate directly to the WHO & CDC websites. Use best practices by typing URLs into your web browser & use Google Search to search for sites
  • Don’t put your credentials into third-party sites unless you’re 100% sure you’re on the correct site
  • Report any suspicious messages to Mimecast’s SOC by email: soc@mimecast.com

10 STEPS FOR MAINTAINING WEB SECURITY (AND SANITY) WHILE WORKING FROM HOME DURING THIS SITUATION

Governments across the globe have put extreme measures in place to limit the spread of coronavirus, prohibiting large public gatherings and encouraging “social distancing” to keep new coronavirus cases as low as possible. Where possible, office based colleagues are on strict work-from-home schedules to mitigate COVID-19’s spread.
While many people have a home office setup already, the same cyber hygiene and web security standards that can be found at corporate offices are not generally in place at home.

With that in mind, the following 10 steps can be used to help avoid cyber-related mistakes, which may linger long after global recovery from COVID-19.

  1.  Maintain regular working hours, but also plan breaks to avoid breaches caused by human error. Working from home requires a different kind of discipline than the typical workplace and it can be difficult to adapt. Planning your working hours and pencilling in suitable breaks will allow you to focus on what needs to be done and when. Similarly, it can be easy to get caught up in a task as you make progress, but regular breaks from a computer screen are essential to avoiding fatigue, strain or headaches from excessive use. All these factors may increase the chances of human error and therefore the chance of a breach.
  2. If sharing your home with others, designate a workspace and ground rules. Family members or roommates can present a distraction during any self-quarantine, particularly if there’s limited space to work and live in. Be clear from the outset as to where your working space is, and the hours you’ll be working.
  3. Take precautions around web security at home. For example, ensure your home router is secure, does not use a generic default password, is utilizing encryption and has its firewall switched on. All these measures will help to secure your home network for personal as well as work use and increase the likelihood of being able to work safely and securely without compromise. This is even more prudent in the age of connected devices. Today, TVs, baby monitors, smart speakers, doorbells, and even lightbulbs can be connected to your network, presenting potential routes into your home network to compromise your more secure work devices and web security. Two-factor authentication, a password, your router and your firewall may be all that keeps them secure. Ensure all your devices have been changed from their default passwords and that any available security measures are enabled.
  4. Keep an eye on bandwidth, which may be more limited than usual due to the increased numbers of people working from home. Increased usage of the internet at home will place greater strain on home networks, and in many cases, the capacity of local infrastructure is shared. Be aware that you may experience slower speeds than usual. If sending work files, resist any temptation to work around existing security measures or the network to save time. Risking compromise of the whole network and its existing web security standards is not worth a few seconds’ expediency.
  5. Mobile data and networks will likely suffer the same issues. Data usage may significantly slow and calls may not connect. Ask yourself: Is the communication urgent? Consider alternative but approved workplace communication via Slack, Skype, Zoom or other approved applications if necessary. Do not use less secure communication channels.
  6. Resist the temptation to use unfamiliar Wi-Fi for work or private browsing. It might be tempting to connect to a neighbour’s or public unsecured Wi-Fi if the signal appears stronger and your connection appears to be very slow, but it’s critical not to do this for private or work-related purposes, since it’s impossible to discern whether you’re inadvertently giving away your credentials to a tech-savvy attacker.
  7. Ensure you’re using encryption. Webmail or private email are unencrypted, leaving your devices at significant risk of compromise via interception or “man in the middle attacks,” and can make your home network vulnerable to compromise as attackers may piggyback on you to compromise an otherwise secure environment.
  8. Supplement encryption with a Virtual Private Network. For an extra layer of web security and encryption, always use a VPN. Most workplaces now have these installed on workplace or business machines and these should be used when available.
  9. Use Multi-factor/two-factor (MFA/2FA) authentication whenever possible. This extra layer of web security may prevent compromise of work applications. Be particularly wary of social engineering during this time, such as contact which may seek to obtain disclosure of an MFA/2FA code.
  10. Be aware of increased phishing and other forms of cyberattack through electronic communication. With many people self-isolating and working from home there will be significant appetite for news on developments. However, colleagues must be aware that this is almost certainly not going to be delivered via any unsolicited electronic communication. Do not click links or attachments in any unsolicited communications offering help or advice, particularly relating to COVID-19 (or really any other significant global events that may be occurring). Stay up to date using reputable news providers and trustworthy government websites for informed and credible updates.

According to Mimecast threat intelligence researchers, threat actors and criminals will almost certainly seek to exploit the increased numbers of colleagues working from home and see them as an opportunity to compromise secure workplace networks. Working from home presents additional complexities, potential weak points and vulnerabilities for attackers to exploit, particularly if colleagues let cyber hygiene slip.

Workplace safety measures and social distancing will almost certainly result in threat actors targeting individuals at home and via their more vulnerable home Wi-Fi networks. Mimecast researchers believe there may well be a significant increase in spam mail and phishing attacks against individuals as well as businesses.

Human error accounts for over 90% of cyber incidents, with at least 90% of breaches involving email as a delivery vector at some stage. The overarching aim of any attack is to encourage the target to type credentials into forged sites, or to covertly install malicious software that will permit data exfiltration or network access, from clicking on malicious links.

Take your time and apply the usual diligence to any electronic communication and do not click on links within these emails.

Nick Gilroy
Quality & Compliance Manager

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update

The Government have announced a move from the ‘contain’ to ‘delay’ phase of its plan to tackle coronavirus. Anyone with a new persistent cough and/or high temperature are now advised to self-isolate and call NHS111. Older people and those with health conditions should reduce social contact and stay at home, and if someone in your home falls ill, the whole household should isolate itself.

From Friday 13th March, school trips abroad will be banned and large scale events in Scotland (with more than 500 people) will be suspended. The Government may consider moving to suspend all large scale sporting events, however, this will be to reduce the burden on the public services (police, NHS, etc), rather than reduce the spread of the virus.

Although the Republic of Ireland have announced that all schools, colleges and public facilities will close from until the 29th March – there has been no similar announcement by the UK Government who are acutely aware of the social and economic consequences of this.

The number of confirmed UK cases rose sharply with the number of deaths reaching 10 – although these all appear to have been in people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Please ensure you maintain good personal hygiene and clean surfaces, shared equipment, flat surfaces, etc.

Corps Security has a well-developed pandemic strategy as part of our overall Business Continuity Planning – and should individuals receive and enquiries about this from our colleagues or customers – please do not hesitate to refer them to myself.

Nick Gilroy
Quality & Compliance Manager

If you want to run, run a mile

All your senses are intensified. Your hands are sweaty, knees weak and arms are heavy. You can feel your feet hit the ground hard in rhythm to your heartbeat, like a bass drum. You can hear roaring crowds urging you to keep going and you smell the Normandy coastline with every inhale. But throughout your systematic, controlled breathing you have one goal in mind – get to the finish line.

It sounds dramatic, but these are perfectly common feelings for those taking on a 44-mile ultra-run across the coastline of Normandy as Salman Shamim, key account director at Corps Security prepares to do on 6th June. The date marks the anniversary of the D-Day landings, to commemorate the fallen of the 1944 Allied invasion of occupied France for veteran’s charity, Combat Stress.

Known as the D-Day challenge, this charity event was first set up in 2009 by Lt Col. Mike McErlain and his wife Jo to raise awareness and funds for Combat Stress. The route, which hugs the Normandy coastline, will take in villages, fields, beaches and D-Day celebrations. Runners will start at Pointe Du Hoc and finish at the historic Pegasus Bridge the same day.

Salman, who last year was awarded Corporate Fundraiser of the Year by Combat Stress after running 12 marathons in 12 months and raising £2,300, will be putting his mind and body to the test again. This time not just by going the distance, but by doing so in ‘full-shout’ traditional military uniform (excluding the boots, he’ll sensibly be running in trainers) as a tribute to former Corps of Commissionaires.

Having been with Corps Security for 11 years Salman has been able to work shoulder to shoulder with some amazing ex-servicemen and women. However, he has also seen first-hand the detrimental effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how challenging it can be for some individuals just to get through the day. It’s with this in mind that Salman is motivated to participate in such a unique event. These are people who work extremely hard and deserve help from the money raised. It’s also a way to pay respects to ex-servicemen we may have lost, as well as the fallen from D-Day.

At the end of his 44-mile run, Salman will be placing a wreath at the Pegasus Bridge Memorial for Commissionaires past. His goal is to raise at least £2,000 for Combat Stress and has already received donations from Corps Security CEO Mike Bullock and other staff around the business.

It’s safe to say, Salman has the full support of the Corps Security community and we wish him the best of luck with the challenge ahead and hope he fully indulges in Normandy’s famous cider to reward himself afterwards.

Good luck Salman, we’ll see you at the finish line.

If you would like to donate to Salman’s cause, you can do so via his JustGiving page.

Coronavirus Covid-19 FAQs

This document is not a policy but gives advice on a number of frequently-asked-questions in relation to the recent cases of Coronavirus. However, due to the changing nature of the ongoing situation the advice we share concerning Coronavirus and other related to health hygiene matters may change. Please check regularly the Safety Bulletins tab on our Colleagues’ Portal for any updates related to this matter.

If you have any other questions that are not answered below or on the portal, please raise them with your line manager or our HR Department on hrdepartment@corpssecurity.co.uk

Where can I get information about the spread of COVID-19?

Safety Bulletins tab on our Colleague Portal.

There is also lots of information available online:
The World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control websites have updates about the number of cases and their locations on their respective websites.

Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care have information about how to protect yourself and how to get advice if you are concerned you may be at risk of having the virus.

What is Corps Security doing to ensure our wellbeing?

Senior managers are closely monitoring the situation and have the ability to both ask for and receive additional guidance and support from our Health and Safety Advisor and various external expert bodies. We have an established Business Continuity Plan which takes account of this type of situation with recovery plans in place

We continue to follow and provide hygiene advice in line with PHE and NHS guidance and provide any updates on the Safety Bulletins tab on the Colleague Portal.

Will the company be deploying hand sanitiser across its sites?

Washing your hands regularly with soap and water is the most effective way to help prevent the spread of germs and it is just as effective as hand sanitisers, which could potentially cause skin irritation or a skin rash.

If Coronavirus spreads in the UK we will make hand sanitiser available on sites where there is no readily available access to hot water and soap.

The best defence and single most effective action you can take to protect yourself and others from infection is to follow good hygiene practices, which will also help to slow the spread of the virus.

When you cough or sneeze it’s especially important to use a clean tissue to cover your mouth and nose; bin the tissue after use; and wash your hands regularly with soap and water.

Simply – Catch it! Bin it! Kill it!

Cleaning hard surfaces (such as door handles) frequently using a domestic disinfectant is also a very effective preventative measure.

Will the company be deploying facemasks across its sites?

The latest guidance is that you should only wear a mask when looking after somebody who has or is suspected as having COVID 19.

Many of the masks available offer little protection against fine particles and in fact are not suitable due to the way they fit and their composition (particularly disposable dust type masks). They also present communication difficulties due to covering the mouth/nose.

If you encounter anyone who appears ill and/or coughing, then maintain a distance between yourself and the individual (3 feet if possible) and direct them to where they need to go. If you have been in close contact, then maintain good personal hygiene/wipe surfaces, etc

What should I do if I have just returned from a known hotspot e.g. the far east or Northern Italy or had extended contact with someone (within two meters of them for at least 15 minutes) that I know has contracted the virus?

If you’ve recently visited a known hotspot area [a category 1 country (see countries list on World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control websites)], you should self-isolate.

If you already have or develop symptoms within 14 days, you should contact NHS 111 and follow their advice. Do not attend your local GP surgery or hospital.

If you’ve returned from a category 2 country and have symptoms, you should contact NHS 111 and again, self-isolate. Do not attend a medical facility.

If you self-isolate or are taken into quarantine, please inform your line manager immediately as per normal absence reporting procedures.

If I self-isolate or am taken into quarantine by the NHS, will I get paid?

If you self-isolate and you provide confirmation that NHS 111 or your doctor advises of your self-isolation as a precaution, than you will be entitled to statutory sick pay.

If you are sick and are taken into quarantine, you will be classified as being on sick leave. Your usual contractual pay entitlement for sickness absence will apply.

What should I do if I a family member is sick with COVID-19?

If you cannot attend work due to family care issues, this will be treated as time off for a dependent and will be dealt with in line with your contractual terms or our Time Off for Dependant policy.

Is it safe to receive a package from anywhere where the virus has been identified?

Based on experience with other coronaviruses (such as the flu), we know that these types of viruses don’t survive long on objects, such as letters or packages. Preliminary information suggests that the virus may survive a few hours on surfaces.

What should I do if I notice someone displaying the symptoms of COVID-19 or flu in the workplace?

Symptoms of Coronavirus are not distinguishable from other respiratory tract infections, like flu. If a colleague is unfit for work or has concerns that they may have been in contact with COVID-19, you should suggest they go home and contact NHS 111 or their GP and that they inform their manager if they test positive. They should always follow the company’s normal absence notification procedures.

I was off earlier this year and have used up some of my sickness allowance already. Will I get any extra allowance if I fall ill with COVID-19?

Any confirmed sickness absence due to COVID-19 will be treated in accordance with your normal contractual entitlement to sick pay.

My child’s school has been closed until further notice and I would like to stay at home to look after them. Can I have the time off and will I still get paid?

If you cannot attend work due to family care issues, this will be treated as dependant leave and will be dealt with in line with your contractual terms or our Time Off for Dependant policy.

What happens if I decide I am just not coming into work as I do not want to risk catching COVID-19?

You are expected to attend work unless you are ill, have agreed time off with your line manager to look after a dependant or have agreed alternative working arrangements in advance with your manager. If your absence is not agreed it may be treated as unauthorised absence and you could be dealt with under an appropriate Company’s policies.

Should I stop holding the handrail when going up and down stairs in order to avoid the risk of infection?

No, always hold the handrail. The risk to your personal safety of falling or tripping because you are not holding the handrails is far, far greater than the likelihood of picking up an infection from it.

What shall I do if I am managing access points at my work location?

If the Client has already provided hand sanitisers on your site please ensure you know where they are located around the access point and direct / encourage all people entering the building to use them.

If these are not any provided by the Client and you are managing access points then escalate to your line manager who will either liaise with the Client directly or will arrange to deliver some to the site as soon as possible.

Is Corps Security planning to close their offices?

Currently it is very unlikely that we will need to close the offices.

Is Corps Security working with customers to manage this situation

Corps Security have been in contact with a number of customers to ensure their Business Continuity Planning is aligned with our own, and that we can manage situations including loss of facilities and staff. This contact is being constantly reviewed.

Mitigating risk – Corps Security and the emergency services

Going into the City of London on a weekend is like walking through a ghost town. Almost to the point you’d forget it is home to much of the London skyline. The weather is wet, windy and wild, the streets are empty, and most shops are closed. Members of Corps Security have congregated opposite the Gherkin to grab a cup of coffee before uniting with the emergency services to work on Operation Eastern Cluster for the first time.

Operation Eastern Cluster is a chemical attack drill which looks not only at the operations of the emergency services, but also the role of Corps Security as the appointed security provider for the Gherkin and how collectively they would deal with a potential attack from within the building. It’s a test of danger identification, a test of effective communication and a test of site knowledge to ensure all parties are prepared about how to act and react during an urgent incident.

Danger identification

As the appointed security provider for the Gherkin, Corps Security is always the first port of call in the event of any emergency. The drill began with calls to Corps’ security officers in the control room from building occupants complaining of trouble breathing and irritated eyes after a scheduled contractor accessed the 27th floor. Identifying the details of underlying issues requires knowledge and precision from Corps’ security officers to recognise any potentially troublesome signs, understand the possible implications and take appropriate action without jumping the gun and causing undue panic. The benefit of Corps staff practicing what to look for means they are better prepared to deal with a real issue in a high stress situation. In the drill, once Corps’ officers had identified the contractor as the attacker, Corps tracked the individual through the building and shared surveillance between the security teams on the ground and the facilities management team. Corps’ officers distributed information quickly, effectively and accurately to reduce the risk of danger to people within the building and determine whether the emergency services needed to be called.

Effective communication

As Corps is the primary communicator with the emergency services it’s our responsibility to include all the necessary details and ensure 100% accuracy. There could be significant consequences if the information conveyed is incorrect. Corps’ role here helps the emergency services assess the situation and decide how to address it. During the training exercise all emergency services including City of London Police, London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service were at the Gherkin within minutes and were fully appraised about where to enter the building thanks to Corps detailed briefing. The City of London turned into an array of sounds and sirens. Emergency services were met at the appointed fire door by Corps’ security officers who further updated them on injuries, fatalities, complications and the whereabouts of the attacker before the fire brigade made its way to the control room. These moments of effective, clear and accurate information sharing between Corps Security and the emergency services are pivotal to the successful outcome of an event. Communication is so crucial in supporting the emergency services respond to an attack and assessing how best to approach the situation ensuring limited casualties.

Site knowledge

Once members of the fire brigade were in the control room, it was down to Corps to share updated knowledge of the situation and the building layout including the best routes to access the specific floor and the location of people still present inside the building. By this point in the exercise, the communication channels had multiplied – verbally between our security teams and fire fighters, via walkie-talkie between fire fighters and the command unit and then back out to other members of the emergency services. As the primary communicator for dealing with any incident within a building, the role of security is vital. Security officers must make a fast and detailed assessment and provide clear, accurate and direction to the emergency services and support teams. Comprehensive site knowledge is critical and could be the make or break of a real-life event.

Corps has been working with City Security Council and the emergency services since November 2019 to prepare for this exercise. The exercise lasted several hours in order to ensure the strategy between all parties is completely sound and response times are fast, should such an event occur. Corps Security looks after many high-profile buildings which could easily find themselves as targets to such attacks in today’s climate. It’s essential a good support network is cemented, and processes are fine-tuned.

Training exercises like these are vital practice for all teams involved. They could make the difference between success and failure in a real incident. We will continue to work with City of London Police, London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service and City Security Council to ensure the upmost safety of the people and premises Corps protects.

Who dares, wins. Who sweats, wins. Who plans, wins.” – British Special Air Service (SAS)