Coronavirus advice for those working on Tilhill managed properties
I send this update for you as guidance is changing and want to ensure you have the best and current information to make decisions on.
Tilhill is constantly reviewing the position of continuing to work whilst adhering to Government guidelines. We recognise that there is uncertainty about the status of our work in relation to the phrase “non-essential” and some difficulties being experienced in relation to the public’s interpretation of these guidelines with regards to forestry work. We are most grateful for your forbearance and continued activity at this very difficult and challenging time for all of us in the forestry sector.
The Scottish Government have, (25 March 2020), issued guidance in order to provide clarification for businesses. The elements that are relevant to our work are detailed below and highlighted as follows:
“We would advise all business premises, sites and attractions to close now unless:
- capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established social distancing advice
All individuals and businesses that are not being specifically required to close should consider a key set of questions– and at all times work on the precautionary basis:
- can your staff work from home? Answer: No
- if not can you practise safe social distancing and comply with ALL other standard health and safety requirements. Answer: Yes
We know that for some – self-employed gardeners, window cleaners, or those working in rural areas – where there is no contact – if you can practise safely, then this could be good for the community, but safety and social distancing must come first.”
The nature of the forest industry is that our work sites are generally remote to the wider population and the type of operations we conduct readily allow workers to work at distance to each other – far more than the minimum social isolation distance required (ie 2 metres). Therefore, based on this current Government advice/rules, forest operations on Tilhill managed sites are deemed appropriate to continue.
The following rules must be applied at all times:
- Travel to the work site (your place of work) is completed either alone, or only with co-working members of your household.
- Contact with third parties and the wider public is avoided, except to refuel vehicles or to do essential shopping within your home community. Please observe hygiene rules during these activities.
- Appropriate welfare facilities are available and hand hygiene is observed (regular, proper hand washing). Facilities need to be cleaned on a more regular basis.
- When relevant, lone working procedures are in place.
- Tilhill’s work instructions and safe systems of work continue to be followed.
Works currently progressing includes: road construction/repair, fencing, cultivation, planting, deer control, site supervision, pesticide application, timber harvesting and extraction, timber haulage, and associated deliveries of machines, materials and support services (fuel, maintenance).
In recognition that the emergency services and the NHS are fully stretched, all our contractors, including stalkers, must take this fact into account with your risk assessments. Please note that the high-risk activity of motor manual felling has thus been suspended until further notice.
Take care and stay safe.